Friday, 22 April 2011 00:00
After over a decade of hard work and persistence by the Massapequa Water District (MWD), federal experts have concluded that the heavily relied upon Grumman-Navy groundwater model is inadequate.
According to MWD officials, this computer model has been used by the NYSDEC, Grumman and the U.S. Navy to minimize and downplay the severe impact that the toxic Grumman-Navy groundwater plume will have on the over 25 public supply wells in the path of the contamination. Collectively these wells supply vital drinking water to over 160,000 Nassau County residents. All nine supply wells operated by MWD are also in the path of the plume and provide potable water to its 43,000 residents.
“As we have advised our residents in the past, MWD continues to be concerned with the lack of cleanup and the lack of enforcement regarding the Grumman Bethpage site,” a release from the MWD stated. “Over the past decade the District has placed the Nassau County Department of Health, New York State DEC and USEPA on notice of our concern that these highly contaminated plumes be remediated before they have the ability to impact our vital drinking water supply wells. This complex two mile wide by five mile long plume consists of potentially carcinogenic contaminants emanating from the Grumman Bethpage site that is primarily composed of tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) in significant concentrations.
“Based on the USGS EPA report and the recently released New York State DEC annual cleanup progress report for the Navy Grumman contamination, the leading edge of the plume is now just north of the Southern State Parkway,” the release continued. “We continue to believe that we now have less than four years to have the Navy Grumman plume stopped from its southward migration before the plume reaches our drinking water supply wells.
“We are pleased that Senator Charles Schumer has carefully and objectively listened to the facts presented by MWD and allowed the USGS and EPA to apply proper scientific and engineering analysis to determine that the present course of action was placing threatened public water supply wells in grave peril,” the release concluded. “The Senator has just issued a stern letter to the regulatory agencies to address this cleanup as soon as possible. The letter can be seen at massapequawater.com. In addition we appreciate his actions and leadership to move the USGS-EPA groundwater model review forward and to a swift conclusion. We are hopeful that the confirmed findings will move the Grumman, Navy and NYSDEC in a direction to undertake immediate action to prevent the plume from migrating toward the Massapequa Water District supply wells.”