State budget includes funds for Bethpage plume study

One local lawmaker is praising the decision in Albany to include funds in the budget to address the contaminated plume in Bethpage, but says more must be done.

As News 12 has reported, the toxic groundwater plume that is traced back to the Northrop Grumman facility in Bethpage is migrating south. Last year, the US Navy revealed that high levels of pollutants have been found just north of Hempstead Turnpike.

Assemblyman Joseph Saladino of Massapequa last year sponsored a bill that calls on the DEC to begin the process of hydraulically containing and ultimately cleaning up the plume. The bill became law last June, and this week the state's annual budget included funding for the DEC to conduct an independent study to determine the best way to contain the plume.

Saladino says the move is a step in the right direction, but says the DEC needs to do more. "What we want see is that construction plans begin, requests for proposals begin, not a study that says we can't do it," he says.

Saladino says he wants the DEC to cut the plume off at the Southern State Parkway by construction extraction wells there. Meanwhile, the towns and water districts surrounding the plume are charged with the task of treating their water to ensure it is safe.

All municipalities insist the water is safe by the time it gets to residents' taps, but many people in the area are still worried. Some say they only buy bottled water.

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