Radium concerns trigger review of LI Superfund, landfill sites
The State Department of Environmental Conservation is re-evaluating several dozen Superfund sites and landfills on Long Island after recent radium concerns in Lake Success and Bethpage.
The radioactive compound was recently found at two sites – a former Lockheed Martin military manufacturing plant in Lake Success and monitoring wells at Bethpage High school.
DEC spokesperson Sean Mahar says they are first focusing on different military, electronics and metal fabrication sites – 22 in Nassau and 21 in Suffolk. The review will also look at four landfills in Nassau and six in Suffolk.
Local environmentalists like Adrienne Esposito say radium is a metal that was used in everyday items in the past that is known to cause cancer. She says it's crucial that these sites are given a second look.
"We really should be looking at landfills and old Superfund sites to see if this kind of radioactive element is present and has entered ground water and surface waters," she says.
DEC officials say they do not know of any problems and the review is being done out of abundance of caution. They say they will keep the public updated on the probe on the DEC's website.