Navy to reimburse Bethpage for Grumman cleanup; toxic plume fears persist

The residents say the toxic plume could easily reach them in three to five years and that very little containment has been done so far.

The residents say the toxic plume could easily reach them in three to five years and that very little containment has been done so far. (3/28/13)

MASSAPEQUA - The U.S. Navy agreed today to pay for the cleanup of the old Grumman property in Bethpage, but there are concerns the toxic plume is growing and threatening other districts.

Massapequa residents are concerned suspected cancer-causing chemicals that began to gradually ooze through the soil from the former U.S. Navy/Grumman aerospace plant will contaminate their drinking water. The residents say the toxic plume could easily reach them in three to five years and that very little containment has been done so far.

In Bethpage, officials spent $14 million on a water purification plant to help contain contamination. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced today that the U.S. Navy would reimburse the hamlet for the plant.

The Massapequa Water District favors sucking out the pollution and reinjecting pure water back into the ground, a procedure that costs much more than a purification plant.

Experts at the Massapequa Water District say without containment of the contamination, the toxic plume could ultimately affect nearly 200,000 water users.

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