The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intends to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) and requests receipt of public scoping comments. DHS currently operates a facility known as the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) on Plum Island, New York. The PIADC mission is to protect U.S. livestock from accidental or intentional introduction of foreign animal diseases that seriously threaten United States (US) livestock industries, food security and economy. DHS proposes to cease operations and close the PIADC facility. Plum Island is an 840-acre island located approximately 1.5 miles off Orient Point and Long Island, New York. DHS also owns and operates transportation assets and a 9.5-acre facility to support PIADC at Orient Point, New York, which includes buildings, utilities, and ferry docking facilities.
Based on the DHS and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) bio- and agro-defense mission requirements and facility limitations at Plum Island, the need was identified to enhance the U.S. government’s current animal agricultural research capabilities through construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas. NBAF will replace the PIADC facility in New York and be operated by the USDA. NBAF will enhance the current research capabilities in the animal agricultural field. Upon the transfer of the mission to NBAF, DHS will no longer have any mission need for PIADC or the associated facilities on Plum Island. Plum Island and all PIADC Government assets, including real property, personal property, and transportation assets, will be conveyed as one entity by the General Services Administration as directed by the Federal Real Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (Property Act).
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), DHS Directive 023-01 Revision 01 and DHS Instruction 023-01-001-01 Revision 01, DHS is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) to analyze the potential environmental impacts associated with DHS actions to close operations at PIADC (Proposed Action). The EA will address the potential impacts to the environment by the Proposed Action that entails the activities associated with the closure of PIADC through the Plum Island Closure and Support (PICS) Program during and after the science mission transfer to the NBAF facility.
DHS conducted initial scoping for the Proposed Action February 1-March 11 and is currently considering comments and incorporating them into our analysis. A draft EA is anticipated to be available for review and comment in the spring of 2022.
A Notice of Availability of the Draft EA will be published in the Suffolk Times and the Riverhead News Review. The Draft EA is anticipated to be available for public comment by the Summer of 2022. The Draft EA will also be made available for public viewing at:
- Floyd Memorial Library at 539 1st St, Greenport, NY 11944
- Southold Free Library at 53705 Main Rd, Southold, NY 11971.
After the comment period on the Draft EA ends, substantive comments will be addressed in the Final EA. A public notice announcing the availability of the Final EA will be published in the Suffolk Times and the Riverhead News Review.