The Bethpage Water District Board of Water Commissioners—John R. Sullivan, Theresa M. Black and John F. Coumatos—recently condemned the comments from Northrop Grumman regarding the plan from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to fully remediate the Northrop Grumman Plume. The comments from Northrop Grumman claim that the comprehensive plan proposed by the NYSDEC is “unnecessary and could indeed do more harm than good, leaving the citizens of Bethpage worse off.” The District resents these thoughtless remarks considering Northrop Grumman’s gross lack of action which has caused the plume to worsen and led to Bethpage ratepayers having to contribute tens of millions of dollars to remediate contamination which was first discovered in 1976 and remains a burden on our community over 40 years later.
“When it comes down to it, these comments are downright offensive to Bethpage residents that have dealt with the realities of this situation for far too long,” said Commissioner Theresa M. Black. “The reason this environmental situation has been able to spiral to the disaster it has become is because of the lack of accountability from Northrop Grumman. We are furious at these tone-deaf comments from Northrop Grumman, but unfortunately we are not surprised. It’s par for the course.”
In creating the comprehensive plan to remediate the plume, NYSDEC completed a $6 million investigation which spanned several years, and was bolstered with state-of-the-art 3D groundwater modeling and thorough review of more than 200,000 groundwater records, which span decades. The proposal from the NYSDEC is the construction, long-term operation, and maintenance of a full remediation system that can effectively halt the further spread of contaminants ansd remove them from the aquifer once-and-for-all. The amended remedy supplements the existing remedies and includes completion of the design necessary for the construction, operation, optimization, maintenance, and monitoring of the remedial program.
“The position of the Bethpage Water District—one we know represents the community—is in support of DEC plan 5B,” said Commissioner John R. Sullivan. “We believe this plan accomplishes two critical functions: stopping the migration of the Northrop Grumman Plume and ultimately removing its contaminants from our sole-source aquifer. Not only is the District in support of this plan, but we have received resounding support from many members of our community who are ready to wake up from this environmental nightmare.”
Since contamination was first discovered, Bethpage residents have spent tens of millions of dollars for necessary water treatment upgrades within the Plume, as well as investments to counter the Plume's migration. In 2018, the District unveiled a $36 million plan which includes crucial upgrades to existing treatment facilities in the plume’s affected area and a permanent relocation of supply wells outside the plume. In addition to bolstering the District’s capacity to provide water to its residents, the transition of water supply wells outside of the Plume’s affected area are more economical than finding a water source alternative to Long Island’s sole-source aquifer and allow the District to sidestep the Plume entirely.
“Every step the District has taken to remediate and treat contaminants in the Plume has been done with our community in mind,” said Commissioner John F. Coumatos. “While our challenges have been significant, we are steadfast in our continued efforts to mitigate the contamination within the plume. Bethpage residents are sick and tired of getting the runaround from this company. It is time for Northrop Grumman to stop fighting us every step of the way and own up to the disaster they created.”
For more information please call the Water District at 516.931.0093