The excavation for hazardous materials at Bethpage Community Park is seen...

The excavation for hazardous materials at Bethpage Community Park is seen Monday. The park was built on top of a former Grumman Aerospace dumping ground where chemical drums recently were unearthed. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Northrop Grumman remediation contractors have tested the contents of the 10 chemical drums most recently unearthed at a former Grumman Aerospace dumping ground in Bethpage Community Park, according to Town of Oyster Bay officials, who said they expect to learn the results Tuesday.

Lab results from testing of soil samples recovered from the same park pit also are expected Tuesday, town officials added Monday.

Contractors removed three layers of drums, 16 drums in all, from the pit starting early last week. The contractors excavated the third layer of drums from their cement casings Friday, Oyster Bay spokesman Brian Nevin said.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said Monday that Northrop Grumman contractors, under the agency's oversight, soon will begin clearing the former baseball fields in the pit area of dense vegetation to make way for the use of ground-penetrating radar. 

Earlier scans identified three possible "anomalies" close to one another but outside the immediate pit area, the DEC said Monday. The agency said that area will be further investigated after the excavation work in the pit is finished.

Tests of the liquid in the first six drums, which were unearthed on April 15, showed they were filled with waste petroleum and chlorinated solvents, including trichloroethylene (TCE), a known carcinogen.

Grumman Aerospace, the corporate predecessor of Northrop Grumman, operated a large aircraft facility in Bethpage beginning in the 1940s and used the land where the drums were found as a chemical dumping ground for decades. Among the toxins discarded was TCE, used for cleaning airplane parts. The company gave the land to Oyster Bay in 1962 to build a community park but didn't disclose the contamination.

The DEC said Friday that workers had been inspecting the drums for any identifying markings and removing any remaining concrete from the pit.

Sean Mahar, interim DEC commissioner, previously said that no chemicals had leaked from the drums into the environment. The agency also said in a previous statement it would “update the town and community regarding confirmatory samples taken around the encased drums as information becomes available.”

The town sued Northrop Grumman over the remediation of the park last year and continues to demand a more thorough and expedited cleanup. The lawsuit calls for all the contaminated soil to be removed from the park, rather than cleaned and reburied.

After the drums were found late last month, then-DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos told Northrop Grumman the agency would require the soil to be disposed of off-site.

Northrop Grumman didn't respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon. Company spokesman Vic Beck previously said: “We remain committed to protecting the health and well-being of the community as we address environmental conditions in Bethpage.”

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