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State Legislature approves Grumman plume bill

Senator Charles Schumer holds a press conference on

Senator Charles Schumer holds a press conference on Oct. 11, 2012 at the Motor Head wellhead treatment plant or "Plant 6," calling on the Navy to reimburse Bethpage Water District for the cost of building a treatment plant to deal with a contaminated "plume". Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

State lawmakers have approved a bill that orders the Department of Environmental Conservation to outline a plan to contain a toxic waste site in Bethpage.

The site centers on contaminated underground plumes traced to aircraft manufacturing operations by the U.S. Navy and Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp., now Northrop Grumman.

The bill was one of slew of measures approved last week in the final days of the 2014 legislative session.

The plumes were discovered in 1986 and 2009. They are subject to state Superfund cleanup plans.

More than a year ago, DEC announced a $60 million final cleanup plan to attack an underground plume emanating from the Grumman site. The plan focuses on concentrated "hot spots" of contamination.

But two state legislators from Nassau County want the agency to do more. The bill, sponsored by Assemb. Joseph Saladino (R-Massapequa) and Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), directs the DEC to prepare a plan to “hydraulically contain” the plumes.

Saladino said this would involve installing injection wells around the southern perimiter of the underground plumes to prevent its further migration.

The Republican said the DEC plan is "wonderful," but doesn't do everything possible to check the contamination. He said that his plan would be "clearly more expensive," but that the Navy should be responsible for the cost.

"This is to protect Massapequa's water wells before they become polluted," Saladino said.

The bill now goes to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for his signature or veto.

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