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Northrop Grumman Says NYS Plan To Clean Bethpage Plume "Impractical"

Frank Eltman
This photo taken Tuesday, November 11, 2014 shows a model of a fighter jet outside the former Grumman Corp. plant in Bethpage, New York.


Defense contractor Northrop Grumman says New York State’s cleanup plan for a miles-long toxic plume in Bethpage is unnecessary. The state plan calls for large-scale treatment of the ground to remove contaminants from drinking water.


The area was contaminated by a Northrop Grumman and US Navy airplane manufacturing facility in the 1960s. And the plume continues to spread every day to surrounding communities even with measures the polluters have taken to clean up the groundwater.

Stan Carey is the superintendent of the Massapequa Water District.

“They’ve been at this for decades and we’re in the same situation we were many many years ago. The plume continues to move further offsite and there are several other public supply wells that are in the line of fire.” 

The state plan requires more pumping wells, recharge basins and miles of piping to treat millions of gallons of water. It would take more than a century to fully remediate the plume. Carey says Northrop Grumman has not done their part.

“The treatment systems that Northrop Grumman has in place today is not removing 1,4 dioxane and that continues to be discharged into the groundwater where we draw our water supply from.”

The state plans to go ahead with the cleanup even if Northrop Grumman and the Navy refuse to pay. New York would seek reimbursement for the cost through the courts. 

Northrop Grumman says it remains committed to working together to provide appropriate “remediation efforts that advance the cleanup and help to protect the community without unnecessary disruption and potential harm.” 

Jay Shah is a former Long Island bureau chief at WSHU.