BETHPAGE - An underground plume filled with potential cancer-causing toxins has plagued the Bethpage area for decades, so worried residents and local officials reached out to federal authorities for help, but they didn't quite get the answer they sought.

The state Superfund site originated under what is now property owned by Northrop Grumman. For the past 25 years, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has been working to clean up the still-expanding plume of contaminants.

Concerned residents in the area say their cleanup efforts have been ineffective. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) has also been unhappy with the DEC's progress, so last month, he asked the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to step up and take the lead.

The EPA responded with a letter to the congressman that says that while the DEC is leading work at the site, several other agencies, including the EPA, are also working there. The letter does not say the EPA will take on the leadership role, though it also doesn't say it won't.

King offered a short statement saying he's "disappointed" with the response and will look to take additional steps to get the plume effectively addressed.