With the federal government poised to close the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and sell off the island, local and state elected officials are calling for assurances that hazardous pollution will be cleaned up—and real estate mogul Donald Trump has an eye toward purchasing the island.
Located about a mile off Orient Point, Plum Island has been under federal control since 1901, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday during a press conference Monday in Orient. He said that before the federal government transfer ownership of Plum Island, he wants a full environmental investigation to be done, with the state involved, so the state can see the investigation with its own eyes. “We don’t want to be left holding the bag both literally and figuratively—in this case, the bag is full of medical waste,” Cuomo said.
“Moving forward with the sale of Plum Island, without looking at and examining the serious health risks that are posed by the unregulated disposal of hazardous waste could lead to the contamination of the island’s water supply, and that is simply unacceptable to all of us,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.
“There are environmental risks, health risks and economic risks,” Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said.
State Senator Ken LaValle, of Port Jefferson, said, “For many of us who live here, it is the island of secrets, And we need to know what those secrets are in terms of pollution and how we deal with it.”
Newsday reported Tuesday that Donald Trump has expressed his interest in purchasing Plum Island to build a golf course there. Trump’s representatives met last month with U.S. Representative Tim Bishop, D-Southampton, according to Newsday.
“It would be a really beautiful, world-class golf course,” Trump reportedly told Newsday.