Testing of Toxic Bethpage Plume Ordered by Governor Cuomo

The U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman have been ordered by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to allow access to monitoring wells so the state and a local water district may test water supplies for potential contamination, the Long Island Press reports.

N.Y. Senator Chuck Schumer, said testing of wells is “just what the doctor ordered” for residents in Massapequa, Bethpage and South Farmingdale. These are towns where the so-called “Grumman Plume” has threatened water supplies. The plume has been estimated as be a 4.5-mile long by 3.5-mile wide “cocktail of potentially harmful chemicals” which has been traveling south-southeast unstopped for several decades, according to the Long Island Press.

Stan Carey, Massapequa Water District President, wrote a letter in November, 2015, to the U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman asking permission to sample monitoring wells to test for the “correlations between the TCE in the monitoring wells and the TCE emanating from” the plume. TCE is Trichloroethylene, which is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a known carcinogen that effects the central nervous system, as well as the liver and kidneys.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), as part of the state’s plan, will test for potential contaminants by collecting groundwater samples from monitoring wells. The Massapequa Water District, is planning on conducting an independent study, reports the Long Island Press.

The DEC has estimated the plume travels an average of one foot per day, but critics believe it is moving at a more rapid pace. Although Grumman was credited with helping the allies win the war, and its significant contribution to putting a man on the moon, the former aerospace and weapons manufacturer has since come under scrutiny for its handling of waste, according to the Long Island Press.

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