Cuomo announces DEC proposal to clean up toxic Bethpage plume

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BETHPAGE -

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced the state Department of Environmental Conservation's proposal to clean up the toxic Bethpage plume once and for all.

The proposal includes installing 24 groundwater extraction wells -- eight of them located in the interior of the plume and 16 along the margins. Officials say the well would extract about 12,000 gallons per minute. And 23 1/2 miles of underground piping would be installed to bring that water from the wells to five nearby treatment plants. From there, the water would be returned to the aquifer system using recharge basins near Bethpage State Park and the Southern State Parkway.

"This is going to be a knockdown, drag-out fight with polluters," says state DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "They've said for years it can't be contained, it shouldn't be contained. This study and investigation turns all of that on its head."

Bethpage Water District officials say they're still reviewing the proposal but issued a statement saying: "We are confident that the actions proposed today will have a positive impact on reversing the spread of contaminants left behind by Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy. We will continue to do whatever it takes to hold the polluters accountable for the environmental and monetary damages their actions have caused."

News 12 spoke with some residents who didn't have much confidence in the plan. But they say action is needed as soon as possible.

The DEC has scheduled a public meeting on the proposal for 5 p.m. Monday, June 10 at Bethpage High School.

Read more:
New water treatment facility to combat Bethpage toxic plume
Family files $300M lawsuit against Northrop Grumman over cancer diagnosis
Group calls for community leaders to take over toxic plume probe

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