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Long Island News

Bethpage Looks To $20 Million Treatment Plant To Stop Toxic Plume Spread

Frank Eltman
A model of a fighter jet outside former Grumman Corp. plant in Bethpage, N.Y., in 2014. Grumman, now known as Northrop-Grumman, manufactured aircraft used during the Cold War and also made the Lunar Module that landed men on the moon in 1969.

The Bethpage Water District on Long Island is building a $19.5 million facility to treat contaminants from the nearby former Northrop Grumman site, which manufactured planes from the 1930s to the mid-’90s.

Decades of manufacturing and testing in the area have contributed to soil and water contamination, with carcinogens like 1,4-dioxane and other volatile compounds identified in what is known as the Bethpage toxic plume.

The new water treatment facility in Bethpage is a way to slow the plume from spreading farther south.

The district expects the U.S. Navy to pick up $15 million of the bill. Bethpage will cover the rest, with the hope that the Navy, the state or the manufacturer would reimburse them in a settlement.

New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation is working on a study on how to fully contain and treat the plume.