Long Island Residents Meet Over Water Concerns

More than 70 years after Navy jet manufacturer Grumman started dumping highly toxic chemicals into the soil, the state's Department of Environmental Conservation has a plan for remediation but residents are unhappy with it

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012  |  Updated 6:36 AM EDT
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Bethpage residents pack a local auditorium demanding answers over a toxic chemical plume they fear could jeopardize their water supply. Katy Tur reports.

Bethpage residents pack a local auditorium demanding answers over a toxic chemical plume they fear could jeopardize their water supply. Katy Tur reports.

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Residents from several Long Island communities packed Bethpage High School's auditorium Tuesday night to discuss their concerns about the local drinking water.

More than 70 years after Navy jet manufacturer Grumman started dumping highly toxic chemicals into the soil, the state's Department of Environmental Conservation has a plan for remediation but residents are unhappy with it.

They say it's ineffective and that it's not containing the plume that now extends from Bethpage Community Park and extends about four miles south. They're worried the plume will contaminate even more public wells.

"We just do not want it in our water supply," said a neighbor who attended the meeting. "Stop it hydraulically, it can be done."

"I'm blown away by this, I didn't think it was that huge a problem, how far down south it's gone," said another woman.

Many are calling on Gov. Cuomo to step in to change the plan. His office referred to the DEC, which claims the only feasible action right now is partial containment, alongside water treatment. DEC officials say it's already being done at the superfund site.

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