EPA crews test groundwater for contaminants in Westbury

Posted: Updated:
WESTBURY -

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted tests on the groundwater in Westbury today in an effort to uncover a possible contamination stemming from a nearby Superfund site. 

Crews were drilling down as far as 500 feet in search of volatile organic compounds in the water associated with practices in the New Cassel industrial area north of Old Country Road.

The contaminated plume currently covers 6 ½ miles from Hicksville through parts of New Cassel and Westbury.

VOCs are carcinogens found in paint, solvents, aerosol sprays, automotive products and dry cleaning fluids.

The EPA is placing several wells just south of the Superfund site to determine the scope of the contamination. The water extracted will be tested for more than 50 different chemical contaminants. 

In 2010, the EPA discovered 11 public supply wells in the area had been contaminated. The water is treated to remove toxic contaminants, but resident Magdalena Rodrigues is still concerned. 

"As a mother, I am always worried," she says. "The cancer rates are always high on Long Island so you just don't know." 

The EPA says it could take 30 years from start to finish to clean up the contaminated plume.
 

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