Policy implemented by the United States Department of Defense dictates that community-run boards must work in coordination with environmental restoration efforts to inform communities impacted by pollution of the latest remediation efforts. These Restoration Advisory Boards (RAB) are implemented to keep residents up-to-date on the most vital facets of local environmental restoration. With regard to the Northrop Grumman Plume, the Bethpage RAB is intended to inform residents of the status of vital cleanup efforts conducted by the EPA, United States Navy and TetraTech (the contractor conducting the remediation efforts).
The Bethpage Water District has no part in the planning, facilitation or communication relating to the Northrop Grumman Plume’s RAB schedule. RAB meetings are community organized and implemented for the betterment of the entire community. The meetings serve as a means to hold relevant agencies responsible for cleanup. What we can promise is to do our best to make you aware of when these meetings get scheduled.
While these meetings should serve as invaluable opportunities for two-way communication between polluters and community about the most pressing issues facing Bethpage, they have largely resulted in minimal progress to show for the decades of work dedicated to cleaning up one of the largest groundwater contamination plumes in the nation. The latest meeting, originally scheduled for November 15 in the Bethpage Community Center, was ultimately cancelled due to inclement weather with no intention of being rescheduled for the convenience of interested residents.
Due to the nature of the longstanding cleanup efforts within our community from the polluters, Northrop Grumman and the United States Navy, RAB meetings have been held twice annually for more than 20 years, accounting for 42 meetings of federal agencies conducting cleanup. These meetings, which should act as an invaluable opportunity for residents to see consistent progress and understand concrete steps moving forward, have ultimately digressed into longwinded abstract discussions without the benefit of tangible, consistent progress.
As members of a community—as honest, hardworking people and proud Bethpage residents—we understand the value of hard work and diligent progress. Numbers speak volumes, and it is why the Bethpage Water District encourages every community member interested in learning more about the Plume and the remediation’s progress to call Tetra Tech (contractors coordinating the RAB meetings) at 757-461-3768 to demand that the meeting be rescheduled as soon as possible.