Lawmakers, environmentalists rally against drilling off LI coast

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RIVERHEAD -

Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, along with state and local leaders, joined environmentalists and business owners Friday morning to speak out against the White House plan to drill off the coast of Long Island.

The rally at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead comes after the Trump administration opened up many coastal waterways to oil and gas drilling, including off Long Island's shores. 

Adrienne Esposito with the Citizens Campaign for the Environment says drilling could ruin Long Islanders’ way of life and threaten the health of our waterways, fisheries and economy.

“To put that at risk is just simply dumb,” she said. “We really need federal leadership to stop this plan, make it go away.”

Zeldin agrees and is demanding that our area be removed from this proposal altogether.

“It's not even established that we even have [oil] right off the coast,” says Zeldin. “There could be harmful environmental impacts just looking for something that doesn't exist.”

A spokesperson for the Department of the Interior tells News 12 Long Island that it has planned 23 public hearings to get feedback from residents who want to voice their concerns. Those who cannot attend public meetings about the offshore drilling can submit comments online.

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