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New York Doubles Down On Plans To Sue Grumman, Navy

northrop_grumman.jpg
Frank Eltman
/
AP

New York's top environmental official says he is outraged over documents found in an Newsday investigation that the U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman misrepresented for decades the damage caused by a toxic plume in Bethpage, Long Island.

The defense manufacturer built fighter jets for the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.

The plume of toxic chemicals is now miles long and wide. Area water districts found toxic levels 12 times higher than the safety standard.

Basil Seggos is the commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation. He said the state plans to sue Grumman and the Navy for $600 million to restore safe drinking water, if the entities don't act.

“We have them on the hook. If we have to front some of the money and then ultimately go after the polluters for this cost, we will," Seggos said. "But my focus right now is at least getting to the point at which they say yes.”

In a statement, Northrop Grumman said it has already spent more than $200 million dollars on remediation over the last two decades. The company says the state and local water districts have confirmed that the water is safe to drink. 

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