BETHPAGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Diane Curley suffers from Graves Disease and rare autoimmune disorders. Her brother has Parkinson’s Disease, and her father died of cancer.
All were born and raised in Bethpage, reports CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.
“The fact that so many in our community are ill with cancer is disturbing,” said Curley.
Neighborhood streets abut the water tower and plant where the district will be closing five of its nine drinking water wells. Below ground, a tainted plume is spreading – four miles so far, attributable to Northrop Grumman’s toxic dumping.
“We just want something done with the plume that we’ve know about for decades,” said Curley.
The 600 acre Grumman and Navy site operated there from the 1930s to the 1990s, manufacturing World War II fighter planes. That legacy led to leaching, contaminating soils and groundwater.
“There is a problem and I don’t think it’s being addressed if I can have two different types of cancers in two years.” said Christine Suzan.
The lack of prompt cleanup is the reason the Cornett family around the corner — all three with recent cancers — is filing a $300 million lawsuit against Northrop Grumman.
“Our experts are certain that their cancers are attributable to contamination from the groundwater plume,” said James Rigano, an attorney representing the Cornett family.
In a statement Northrop Grumman says it continues to work closely with the Navy and federal, state and local authorities – as it’s done for more than 20 years – to address environmental conditions in Bethpage.
Northrop Grumman won’t comment on the lawsuit but says scientifically proven remedial measures are underway.
Remediation can’t come soon enough for Bethpage homeowner Emmy Santiago, who is living through ovarian cancer.
“I have a daughter also who has multiple sclerosis and her immune system is also in jeopardy,” she said.
All of these families have something in common: Drinking the tap water for decades and playing in the community park.