NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state is funding groundwater contamination testing and construct clean up plans if necessary on Long Island.
“The aquifer on Long Island is a priceless asset and we want to protect it and part of protecting it is understanding what’s going on with it and understanding what’s going on with it right now,” Cuomo said Thursday, announcing a new state Water Quality Rapid Response Team led by the state’s health and environmental commissioners.
Residents in the Bethpage area have said they are worried about a plume from the former Northrop Grumman manufacturing facility.
“The companies can close up and move away but that doesn’t mean that all the residue they left and put into the ground goes away,” Cuomo said. “When we were regulating these manufacturing companies at the time, no one was really studying the discharge and what it would mean down the road.”
The monitoring, which began Thursday, will look for harmful chemicals associated with the plume. It’s deep underground and is believed to be moving southward.
There are new concerns about saltwater intrusion and contamination near composting facilities.
“Let’s find out if there is saltwater intrusion, where it’s coming from, if there is chemical contamination, where is it coming from,” Cuomo said. “The mulching industry also creates other issues, apparently there’s an odor from the mulching facilities, there’s a dust and the regulations have been an unregulated industry by and large up until now.”
The water plans will cost millions of dollars.
“Every New Yorker has a fundamental right to clean and safe drinking water,” Cuomo said. “Water is a priceless resource that requires the highest levels of protection.”
The state will partner with the U.S. Geological Survey to conduct a comprehensive groundwater review.
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