Group calls for community leaders to take over toxic plume probe

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A citizens group currently suing the Navy and state’s Department of Environmental Conservation hosted a public hearing Thursday focusing on the toxic plume in Bethpage.

Long Island Pure Water – a grassroots civic group – says they want to take over the investigation of the plume at the Grumman site from the government. They say government agencies have failed to properly monitor and remediate the contaminants found in the plume.

MORE: Citizens group: Radiation from Grumman plume needs to be addressed | Navy report on radium in water irks Bethpage residents

News 12 has reported that the Navy said radium in the plume occurred naturally and that they are continuing to monitor it.

"For 30 years, the government has failed to remediate this plume and investigate what's in it,” says attorney Nicholas Rigano. “We don't know fully what's in the plume to date because of the government’s failures."

Attorneys for Long Island Pure Water say their lawsuit against the Navy and state DEC is pending in federal court. They say it can only take over the investigation if a judge orders them to do so – a process that could take months or years.

News 12 did not immediately hear back from the DEC for comment.

"We will not stop fighting until the polluters are held accountable for their gross negligence and this burden is taken off of the backs of Bethpage taxpayers," the Bethpage Water District said in a statement.

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