Bethpage Water District files lawsuit against Northrop-Grumman over toxic plume

Superintendent Mike Boufis says the district is trying to move its production wells to cleaner sources.

Superintendent Mike Boufis says the district is trying to move its production wells to cleaner sources. (11/18/13)

BETHPAGE - The Bethpage Water District is suing Northrop-Grumman in an attempt to get the defense firm to cover the expensive efforts to remove groundwater contamination around the site of the company's former headquarters.

In July, the district began construction on a new water well at Bethpage State Park, grounds that were formerly used by Grumman as a dumping site for chemical waste. The well draws contaminated water out of the ground and removes the toxins, which have formed a plume of contamination that spreads for about 5 miles.

Now, the water district is trying to recoup the costs. The suit seeks money to pay for new water wells built outside of the plume and reimbursement for the cost of treating contaminated water from existing wells.

Some local officials agree that Grumman should be held accountable.

"I'm sort of fed up with Grumman," says Sen. Charles Schumer. "It happened years ago, but they caused the pollution and the mess. It's their responsibility, not the water ratepayers."

In a statement sent to News 12, Northrop-Grumman did not directly address the lawsuit, but stated that the company has worked closely with both state and local governments over the years to address the environmental issues in the water district and that it will continue to do so.
 

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