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Long Island News

Congress: Navy Must Submit Reports On Long Island Toxic Plume

Joe Ryder
N.Y. State Assemblyman Anthony Saladino, R-9, left, and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, display a map of the spread of a plume of toxic chemicals from Bethpage to Massapequa in January.

Congress has passed a law that gives the Navy six months to submit a detailed report on what chemicals are in the toxic Bethpage groundwater plume on Long Island and how fast it’s spreading.

Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., says Congress has given the Navy a homework assignment: to report on what exactly is in the toxic groundwater plume, how it’s spreading and what’s being done to prevent it from contaminating drinking wells in Bethpage, Levittown, Massapequa, South Farmingdale and Wantagh.

Elevated levels of TCE, or trichloroethylene, a solvent used at the former Grumman plant and a potential carcinogen, have been found in the plume that is spreading from the former Grumman plant in Bethpage.

The Navy and Grumman manufactured jet fighters at the Bethpage site from the 1940s into the 1980s.

The first report is due within six months of the president signing the bill into law, and then every year for the next four years.