The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has finally reached a decision to contain and treat groundwater pollution from the chemical plume in Nassau County that has affected 11 public water supply wells and threatens another 16 as it moves slowly southward.
The state plan is the first major effort at remediation of the Bethpage plume, which now extends as far south underground as the Southern State Parkway, west past Gardiners Avenue in Levittown, and as far east as the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway. It already encompasses the northern halves of Seaford and Wantagh, and affects customers
in New York American Water’s Merrick District as well as those in the Massapequa and Bethpage water districts. It is 4.3 miles long, 2.1 miles wide at its widest, and up to 900 feet deep. It is currently moving southward at a rate of about a foot per year.
The state hopes to clean up the immediate area where the wells are located and to slow or halt the plume’s spread. The projected cost is $585 million, but many believe it will extend well beyond that figure.
The state plans to recoup the cost through litigation against Northrop Grumman Corp. and the U.S. Navy. As of now, the DEC’s plan is expected to take five years to design and implement, but could take over 100 years to remove all the contaminants if that is actually possible. (Source: article by Mallory Wilson)