Sen. Schumer, Navy official talk Grumman toxic plume cleanup

Posted: Updated:
BETHPAGE -

United States Sen. Charles Schumer toured the former Grumman naval site in Bethpage Friday with Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and local water department officials.

Officials attribute the underground toxic plume to groundwater contamination that took place at the hands of the U.S. Navy and Grumman in Bethpage during and after World War II.

"My mother always told me, 'You make a mess, you clean it up.'" said Schumer, the Senate's minority leader. "That, in a friendly, loving way, I have told the Navy and Grumman."

Schumer said the Senate has approved more than $300 million in funding that could be used for remediation efforts if it passes the House by December. A plan to fully deal with the issue will be submitted next summer.

Spencer is the first Navy secretary to visit the former Grumman site, even though the underwater contaminants were first discovered in the mid-1970s. Schumer called it a good sign and Spencer said it's a public recognition.

"We understand our responsibility, we understand how this is all unfolding, and we're prepared to stand by with what we should do and what's right," Spencer said.

But residents in Bethpage say they've heard about remediation for years and want to see action from the government and Navy.

"They should pay for it. It shouldn't be on the residents," Dina Senra said.

"My message to them is, 'Clean it like you're going to be drinking the water,'" said Frank Pizzuto, also of Bethpage.

Schumer specifically named U.S. Reps. Peter King and Tom Suozzi as potential partners in ensuring that the necessary funding is approved in the House. News 12 reached out to both congressmen but did not immediately hear back.

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Dog Day Fridays for August 17

    Dog Day Fridays for August 17

    Friday, August 17 2018 8:18 AM EDT2018-08-17 12:18:00 GMT
    Bailey is a Hound mix, just under 2 years old. She was recently surrendered to the shelter by her owner. Bailey is a sweet and playful dog. She behaves well with children and other friendly dogs. She would be the perfect companion for any household.Bailey is a Hound mix, just under 2 years old. She was recently surrendered to the shelter by her owner. Bailey is a sweet and playful dog. She behaves well with children and other friendly dogs. She would be the perfect companion for any household.

    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Bobbi and the Strays. The shelter is located at 2 Rider Place in Freeport. Their phone number is (516) 378-4340

    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Bobbi and the Strays. The shelter is located at 2 Rider Place in Freeport. Their phone number is (516) 378-4340

  • Aftermath of bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy

    Aftermath of bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy

    A general view of the Morandi bridge which collapsed on August 14, 2018 in Genoa, Italy.A general view of the Morandi bridge which collapsed on August 14, 2018 in Genoa, Italy.
    A general view of the Morandi bridge which collapsed on August 14, 2018 in Genoa, Italy.A general view of the Morandi bridge which collapsed on August 14, 2018 in Genoa, Italy.

    A bridge on a main highway linking Italy with France collapsed in the Italian port city of Genoa during a sudden, violent storm, sending vehicles plunging 45 meters (nearly 150 feet) into a heap of rubble.

    A bridge on a main highway linking Italy with France collapsed in the Italian port city of Genoa during a sudden, violent storm, sending vehicles plunging 45 meters (nearly 150 feet) into a heap of rubble.

  • Just Married on Long Island

    Just Married on Long Island

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."