In the days before a potentially dangerous storm is expected to hit Massachusetts and much of New England, Congressman John Tierney (D-MA), State Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), state and local lawmakers and dozens of Plum Island residents and families, increased their call for the immediate approval of a permit to continue beach scraping in front of local homes. Moments ago, Congressman Tierney let local residents know that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved that permit, meaning Plum Island families can start to protect their homes and community from intense damage, as soon as late this afternoon.
"Today's news is a resounding example of local, state, and federal leaders and agencies coming together to ensure that our families and our communities have the ability to protect their homes and their neighborhood. The Army Corps's decision is the right one. We cannot allow our families to risk losing their homes and be put in harms-way due to red tape and bureaucracy. I applaud all involved for finding an expedient solution and allowing Plum Island families to use their own resources to protect their community," Congressman Tierney said.
"I am particularly appreciative of the Governor who responded so quickly and effectively to my call earlier this week for immediate state cooperation, and the Army Corps for again considering the needs of families here on Plum Island," Tierney concluded.
"Congressman Tierney and Senator Tarr have played a critical role in helping these local families secure a permit to protect their homes. In a matter of days, we could be hit by a devastating storm, and the beach scraping we now have the authority to conduct will save homes and help preserve our community," said Bob Connors, who owns one of the properties that was permitted to beach scrape outside his home last month.
Following intense efforts by homeowners and local and federal officials, many Plum Island home owners received approval to beach scrape last month, and they did immediately. However, that first permit did not include a handful of houses that could have been irreversibly damaged if residents could not conduct beach scraping before a storm hit. Fortunately, the permit issued today will allow these final home owners to conduct the necessary beach scraping.