State DEC to conduct groundwater study at Plainview Superfund site

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The state Department of Environmental Conservation says an additional environmental study will be done at the site of a former metal cleaning company in Plainview where an office building now stands. 

The building at 131 Sunnyside Blvd. has been listed as a hazardous Superfund site for more than a decade after a toxic compound known as trichloroethene, or TCE, was found in the soil.

Jordan Christensen, with the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says TCE can cause serious health problems, including lymphoma, leukemia and damage to the liver and kidneys. 

What's in the Water Coverage

Part of the environmental study will include installing groundwater monitoring wells and then taking samples to see if there's any contamination. The state says the groundwater is 80 feet below the soil level in Plainview. The town is also where five of the Island's 250 Superfund sites are located. 

Stephen Moriarty, the superintendent of the Plainview Water District, says they are working with the DEC on the newest study, but adds the district is already treating its wells to remove TCE.

Carol Meschkow, who heads up Concerned Citizens of Plainview-Old Bethpage, says she doesn't understand why the additional study is only being done now, when the DEC first listed the property as a Superfund site in 2008.

"I would have liked to see more communication all these years," says Meschkow, who wants to see the study expanded to surrounding areas. 

The state DEC says the initial investigation was completed in 2015, and that the full extent of the contamination remained "undefined." The agency reviewed those findings and decided the monitoring wells is the best solution at this point. 

The work on those wells will begin this winter.

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