MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — New York state will conduct testing to further analyze a groundwater plume on Long Island, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer announced Wednesday.
Cuomo said the Navy and Northrop Grumman have also been ordered to give the Massapequa Water District access to the wells in order to obtain samples that will be tested by the state.
“There have been too many questions about the extent of contamination caused by this plume and residents are frustrated with the lack of answers from the Navy and Northrop Grumman,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This action will allow us to develop an action plan to ensure that the health and safety of this community is protected.”
“New York State’s swift move to require testing of the wells and access to vital data on any potential contamination is just what the doctor ordered for the worried residents of Massapequa, Bethpage and South Farmingdale,” Schumer said in a statement.
The plume, which comes from the original Northrop Grumman facility, is one mile wide and three miles long and extends to depths in excess of 600 feet, Cuomo said.
It impacts some water supply wells in Nassau County, which have since been equipped with treatment systems, Cuomo said.
In 2013, the Bethpage Water District shut down one of its drinking supply wells after elevated levels of the known carcinogen radium was detected.
Bethpage later filed a lawsuit against Northrop Grumman, claiming actions at the plant contaminated the soil and groundwater for years.
The governor said Wednesday that Massapequa Water District’s drinking wells are not impacted by the plume, but the water district’s Stan Carey said it has been slowly moving from Bethpage to Massapequa.
“The message that has been employed, let the plume continue to move south, contaminate a public supply well, and then we’ll pay the water district to make the water safe to drink,” Carey told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “That’s just not acceptable to us.”
Carey said he does not want the water supply to be contaminated.
“We’re in a stage right now where we want them to install intercepting wells to catch it before it gets to us, treat it and then pump it back down into the ground at safe levels,” he said.