The Bethpage firehouse was recently the scene of a roundtable and open discussion regarding remediation efforts involving the Northrop Grumman/U.S. Navy Groundwater Plume. The event attracted many political and environmental leaders including Congressman Thomas R. Suozzi who introduced the roundtable and facilitated the discussion on current remediation plans and alternative treatment options. Congressman Peter T. King, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, and Bethpage Water District Superintendent Michael Boufis all provided welcoming remarks and introductions. The Bethpage Water District was further represented by Water Commissioner and District Chairman, John R. Sullivan, Commissioners John F. Coumatos and Teri M. Black, and retired Commissioner Sal Greco.
“We felt that the idea of getting political leaders, environmental authorities, representatives of health agencies, as well as other concerned water districts together with Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy was a significant step forward,” stated Commissioner Sullivan. “The remediation of the Northrop Grumman/U.S. Navy Groundwater Plume needs to proceed full speed ahead, and the Bethpage Water District feels this goal will be best served by unilateral support and effort. We are grateful to all our supporters and all those who endorse a doctrine of fairness as we try to bring this longstanding issue to a decisive, environmentally safe, and equitable conclusion.”
The Bethpage Water District has carried on the fight for decades, all too often battling delaying tactics and running into corporate stonewalls. “The people of Bethpage elect us (Commissioners) to represent their interests with zeal and dedication because we are fellow residents, and we’re focused on the scientific facts.” Commissioner Sullivan remarked. “This Northrop Grumman/U.S. Navy Groundwater Plume is a truly vital issue, not only for the people of Bethpage and the surrounding communities, not only for Long Island and New York State, but also for all communities across the USA that have been similarly victimized.”
Congressman Suozzi, who took office in January 2017, and is a former Nassau County Executive, was encouraged noting “All stakeholders agreed to collaborate together to obtain necessary approvals, permits and funding to accelerate the actual clean up.” He added that “I’m committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure this work actually starts getting done and that the Bethpage Water District does not have to continue to bear the costs of this complex project.”
“Very simply, we need a comprehensive plan to remediate this groundwater plume once and for all.” Congressman King stated. “I will continue to work with Congressman Suozzi and Supervisor Saladino. Even though the water supply is safe to drink, complete remediation should be the priority. It is in the best interest of our own families’ health and generations of Long Island families to come,” said Congressman King.
Supervisor Saladino commented “The remediation of the plume has been one of my highest priorities and I have been working for 13 years in Albany with the DEC, our residents, the Bethpage Water District, and the impacted communities to accelerate the State’s role in cleaning up the contamination in our groundwater.”
The Supervisor also cited a New York State law (2014) he wrote that mandated “the DEC create an in-depth report which ultimately concluded that hydraulic containment will work effectively on the plume and lays out the framework of how to best accomplish that goal.”
Commissioner Sullivan further added that more open town meetings “were necessary to keep the public abreast of the situation. The voice of the people of Bethpage cannot be silenced, and they should be made aware of every positive development or roadblock.
Pictured from Left to Right:
Joseph Saladino, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor; Ed Hanno, Project Manager, Environmental, Safety, Health & Medicine, Aerospace Systems; Carrie Meek Gallagher, Region 1 Director, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC); Michael Boufis, Superintendent, Bethpage Water District; Martin Brand, Deputy Commissioner for Remediation (NYSDEC); Thomas R. Suozzi, U.S. Congressman; Richard Mach, Director, Environmental Compliance and Restoration Policy, Navy;
Lawrence Eisenstein, M.D., FACP, Commissioner of Health, Nassau County Department of Health;
Elizabeth Lewis-Michl, PhD. – Director, Environmental Health Assessment (New York State Department of Health); Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment; and John Sullivan, Chairman of the Board, Bethpage Water District.
For more information:
Grumman Plume Landing Page: http://bethpagewater.com/Grumman-Plume-Update
Twitter (@BethpageW): https://twitter.com/BethpageW
About Bethpage Water District
Established in 1923, Bethpage Water District is one of the most tenured Districts on Long Island, serving more than 8,800 accounts through a stretch of 107 miles of water main across the District. Our water comes from eight wells on six pumping sites, with a total pumping capacity of over 11,000 gallons of water per minute. All wells combined pumped approximately 1.5 billion gallons of water last year. We serve an area of five square miles, which includes Bethpage, Old Bethpage, Plainview, Farmingdale and Levittown. Bethpage Water District is located at 25 Adams Avenue, Bethpage, NY 11714 • Phone: (516) 931-0093 • www.bethpagewater.org