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Usually In Unison, New York And Connecticut Clash Over Environmental Issue

Mystic Country CT (Flickr)
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Avery Point Lighthouse in Groton, Conn.

Connecticut and New York are butting heads over a controversial decision by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to allow dumping of dredged material in Long Island Sound. It’s an unusual split between two states that have been pretty lockstep in suing the EPA.

Dredging is needed to keep harbors and channels clear -- so boats or ships don’t bottom out and get stuck.

Last year, the EPA said dredged material pulled up from eastern Long Island Sound would get dumped offshore south of New London.

But New York didn’t like that. It sued the EPA, saying the site posed environmental risks.

Connecticut said the site is crucial to a good shoreline economy. Submarine maker Electric Boat and dozens of Connecticut towns are now doubling down on that -- and are expected to file a court brief in support of the EPA’s decision.

As of late, Connecticut and New York have consistently harmonized against the EPA.

According to the NYU School of Law, since January of last year, both have signed on to more than a dozen legal actions against the federal agency.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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