State DEC: 6 more concrete blocks, some containing chemical drums, found buried at Bethpage Community Park

The DEC says the blocks will be investigated this week and crews will continue digging in the area where they were found.

News 12 Staff

May 13, 2024, 10:15 PM

Updated 6 days ago

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Six more concrete blocks, some of which contained chemical drums, have been found buried at Bethpage Community Park, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
It says they were discovered last week. Crews were back at the site Monday in full-body yellow suits drilling into the ground at the ballfield.
The DEC says Northrup Grumman's contractors uncovered the blocks after examining historical photos of the park. The DEC is overseeing the work and says there is no immediate threat to the public.
The DEC claims it can hardly believe that more chemicals were found out there – especially after ground penetrating radar was used by Grumman. The agency says it wants answers regarding how the newly found chemicals were missed.
“These were found deeper than the other concrete encasements that we found, so these were at a depth of seven to eight feet below ground and extended to about 10 to 11 feet below ground," said Sean Maher, of the state DEC.
According to the DEC, of the six concrete blocks dug up so far – three contained chemical drums inside. The DEC will test the chemicals and figure out how to safely dispose of them.
The total number of drums excavated from the ballfield so far is 19.
News 12 reached out to Grumman for comment but has not yet heard back.
Bethpage residents say they are skeptical. "Children have played on that field, and it's a darn shame,” said one resident. “It's right across from the high school. We pray that it's not affecting our water."
The DEC says the blocks will be investigated this week and that crews will continue digging in the area where they were found.
The DEC made the following statement Monday evening:
"DEC continues to oversee investigative and cleanup activities at this location to determine the full nature and extent of contamination and the presence of any additional drums buried beneath the site. The discovery and removal of the drums present no immediate threat to public health and safety at the site and DEC is working with its partners at the federal, State, and local level to ensure the protection of public health and the environment. The drums removed from the site will be disposed of at an appropriately permitted facility equipped to receive the material in accordance with state laws. DEC continues to hold Northrop Grumman accountable for the cleanup of Bethpage Community Park."


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