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EPA to clean dry-cleaning chemicals in Nassau

Long Island American Water pipes in Lynbrook, where

Long Island American Water pipes in Lynbrook, where there was a brown-water incident in 2010. The company flushed the pipes, and use restrictions were lifted. Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein, 2010

A polluted site in Hempstead near an American Water Co. well, with contamination caused by dry-cleaning fluids, will be cleaned up by federal authorities, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday.

A public meeting will be held Aug. 3  to discuss the planned cleanup, the EPA said.

Water will be removed and treated at the Peninsula Boulevard Superfund site, near the Woodmere Middle School, the EPA said.

"The ground water is contaminated with the volatile organic compounds tetrachloroethylene and  trichloroethylene, chemicals used in dry cleaning that can adversely impact people’s health," the EPA said.

"Residents in the area get their drinking water from the Long Island American Water Company, which operates a well field approximately 1,000 feet north of the Peninsula Boulevard site."

American Water pumps water from this well and delivers it to customers after treating it and, at times, mixing it with water from other wells, the federal agency said.

An American Water spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

"EPA did not detect any contaminants above acceptable levels in ground water from the Long Island American Water Company during its investigation of the Peninsula Boulevard Superfund site," the agency said.

The EPA encourages public comments on the proposed plan, and offers a forum to be held at 7 p.m. next Wednesday at the Village of Hewlett High School, 60 Everit Ave., Hewlett.

The plan is available on EPA’s website.

“Volatile organic compounds can pose serious health risks – especially in drinking water – so removing them is the best way to protect the health of people who live and work in the area,” EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck said in a prepared statement.

“We encourage community residents, business owners and area workers to give us feedback on EPA’s proposed plan to clean up the contamination on the Peninsula Boulevard site.”

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