HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Long Island town has filed a $50 million federal lawsuit against the Navy, Northrop Grumman and others over groundwater contamination that forced the closure of water wells.
Hempstead filed the lawsuit late last month, alleging that negligent behavior led to contaminated water supplies in the Levittown water district, Newsday reported. The town discovered low levels of Freon and volatile organic chemicals at two well sites.
The town is spending $7 million to build water treatment facilities. Town officials say the lawsuit is meant to protect residents and recover funds spent on remediation.
“This is an attempt by the town to achieve equity for our taxpayers and our ratepayers saying that the companies that we believe are responsible — Northrup Grumman and the Navy — should foot the bill, not the taxpayer,” Town Supervisor Anthony Santino told 1010 WINS.
Santino said the dangerous contaminants were caught in times and none of the residents were put at risk.
“It has not done anything to impact the health of and the safety of the water because the town has been very proactive in mitigating the toxins by enhanced filtration systems and things of that nature, but that has cost a considerable amount of money and that’s what the lawsuit seeks to recover,” Santino said.
Some of the contamination stems from a more than 600-acre site where the Navy and what’s now known as Northrop Grumman manufactured airplanes.
The Navy declined to comment. The company declined comment on the lawsuit, but said it is working to address “various legacy environmental conditions.”
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