Suozzi Brings Together Major Stakeholders to Address Navy/Grumman Groundwater Plume
Today Congressman Tom Suozzi, joined by Congressman Peter King (NY-02) and Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joe Saladino, held a meeting featuring all major stakeholders involved in confronting the challenges facing cleanup efforts of the Navy/Grumman Groundwater Plume.
Those who attended the meeting included representatives from Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Navy, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), New York State Department of Health, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Nassau County Department of Health, United States Geological Survey (USGS), Bethpage Water District, South Farmingdale Water District, Massapequa Water District, Town of Hempstead Water Department, Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Citizens Campaign for the Environment and the NYIT Center for Water Resources.
“I’m very encouraged by the results of today’s collaboration. All stakeholders agreed to collaborate together to obtain necessary approvals, permits and funding to accelerate the actual clean up. Having everyone under one roof to address this issue was important. The greatest concern was to speed up the remediation in a cost-effective manner that actually delivers results for the people of Bethpage and surrounding communities.
“I’m committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure this work actually starts getting done and that the Bethpage Water District does not have to continue to bear the costs of this complex project. While the public drinking water remains safe, this issue has been lingering for over 40 years and the time has come for all these stakeholders to fix the problem once and for all,” said Congressman Suozzi.
“Very simply, we need a comprehensive plan to remediate this groundwater plume once and for all. I will continue to work with Congressman Suozzi and Supervisor Saladino. Even though the water supply is safe to drink, complete remediation should be the priority. It is in the best interest of our own families health and generations of Long Island families to come,” said Congressman King.
“The remediation of the plume has been one of my highest priorities and I have been working for 13 years in Albany with the DEC, our residents, the Bethpage Water District, and the impacted communities to accelerate the State’s role in cleaning up the contamination in our groundwater,” Supervisor Saladino said. “Under a NYS law which I wrote and passed in 2014, it mandated that the DEC create an in-depth report which ultimately concluded that hydraulic containment will work effectively on the plume and lays out the framework of how to best accomplish that goal. We need to continue working together with the federal, State and all local levels of government in an effort to fully remediate and finally clean up the contamination of the Grumman Navy Plume to fully protect our water and the public’s health.”
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Governor Cuomo’s commitment to expediting remediation of the Grumman plume has been unequivocal and unrelenting. DEC will continue to aggressively advance a comprehensive cleanup plan that achieves all remedial goals and holds those responsible for the pollution fully accountable.”
Congressman Suozzi has been one of the leaders in tackling the groundwater plume. He supported the Omnibus Appropriations spending bill, which includes funding for the plume through some of the $289 million that’s allocated to the Navy’s Environmental Restoration Account. Earlier this year, he both testified and sent a letter to the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations requesting they fully fund monies authorized by the last Congress, which are critical to helping the effort to clean up groundwater contamination. He has been meeting with officials from the Navy, Northrop Grumman, the Bethpage Water District and other stakeholders since taking office in January.