Environmental remediation work, seen here on May 14, is continuing...

Environmental remediation work, seen here on May 14, is continuing at closed ballfields at Bethpage Community Park, the site of a former Grumman Aerospace dumping ground.  Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Northrop Grumman has hired an additional contractor for help after previous ground-penetrating radar scans failed to detect some of the chemical drums recently found buried during the company's ongoing environmental remediation work at Bethpage Community Park, state and town officials said Wednesday.

New Jersey-based Hager-Richter Geoscience, Inc. will conduct scans of the soil beneath the surface of the park's closed ballfields, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Town of Oyster Bay spokesman Brian Nevin. 

The town official said Calverton-based Miller Environmental Group, which is handling Grumman's remediation work and previously had outsourced the scans to a subcontractor, will continue its other operations at the site. The location is a former dumping ground of Northrop Grumman's corporate predecessor, Grumman Aerospace, Newsday previously reported.

Northrop Grumman didn't respond to a request for comment Wednesday. Miller Environmental Group declined to comment. Hager-Richter Geoscience, Inc. didn't immediately respond for a request to comment.

The new contractor did a walk-through of the site with town and state officials Wednesday and is expected to create a plan "prior to the start of the new geophysical investigation," the DEC said.

Grumman, which used to manufacture aircraft in Bethpage, used the location as a pit for wastewater sludges and solvent-soaked rags between the 1940s and 1960s, Newsday previously reported.

That was found to be a major contributor to an underwater plume of carcinogenic chemicals that spread from the grounds and now is more than 4 miles long, 2 miles wide and 900 feet deep.

The company donated land for the park to the town in 1962. The contamination was discovered in 2002 and is the subject of ongoing litigation between Oyster Bay and the company.

Starting in late March, Miller Environmental Group found the first set of a total of 22 chemical drums that recently were unearthed from beneath the former ballfields while doing work related to soil testing. 

After the first 16 concrete-encased drums were found, the DEC told Grumman to have its contractor do underground scans of the ballfield area.

State officials said scans detected “anomalies” that ended up being various pieces of concrete and metal.

Then last week, workers removed six more drums from a location around 20 to 25 feet from the area where the first 16 drums were found — a discovery the DEC said was made after historic photographs were used to hone in on a second area for digging.

 Interim DEC Commissioner Sean Mahar said earlier this month that his agency was questioning Grumman about why scans hadn't revealed the additional half-dozen drums. 

Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino said Wednesday that Grumman's hiring of an additional contractor was needed to ensure more drums aren't underground. 

 "We have demanded that they use better technology and do it in a more thorough way," he added.  

The DEC has said initial testing showed the contents of first six of the 22 drums contained waste petroleum and chlorinated solvents including trichloroethylene (TCE), a known carcinogen.

The agency hasn't released full results on the contents of the drums but previously said those compounds "are consistent with known historic operations" that are "the focus of the ongoing remedial action."

Northrop Grumman has hired an additional contractor for help after previous ground-penetrating radar scans failed to detect some of the chemical drums recently found buried during the company's ongoing environmental remediation work at Bethpage Community Park, state and town officials said Wednesday.

New Jersey-based Hager-Richter Geoscience, Inc. will conduct scans of the soil beneath the surface of the park's closed ballfields, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Town of Oyster Bay spokesman Brian Nevin. 

The town official said Calverton-based Miller Environmental Group, which is handling Grumman's remediation work and previously had outsourced the scans to a subcontractor, will continue its other operations at the site. The location is a former dumping ground of Northrop Grumman's corporate predecessor, Grumman Aerospace, Newsday previously reported.

Northrop Grumman didn't respond to a request for comment Wednesday. Miller Environmental Group declined to comment. Hager-Richter Geoscience, Inc. didn't immediately respond for a request to comment.

The new contractor did a walk-through of the site with town and state officials Wednesday and is expected to create a plan "prior to the start of the new geophysical investigation," the DEC said.

Grumman, which used to manufacture aircraft in Bethpage, used the location as a pit for wastewater sludges and solvent-soaked rags between the 1940s and 1960s, Newsday previously reported.

That was found to be a major contributor to an underwater plume of carcinogenic chemicals that spread from the grounds and now is more than 4 miles long, 2 miles wide and 900 feet deep.

The company donated land for the park to the town in 1962. The contamination was discovered in 2002 and is the subject of ongoing litigation between Oyster Bay and the company.

Starting in late March, Miller Environmental Group found the first set of a total of 22 chemical drums that recently were unearthed from beneath the former ballfields while doing work related to soil testing. 

After the first 16 concrete-encased drums were found, the DEC told Grumman to have its contractor do underground scans of the ballfield area.

State officials said scans detected “anomalies” that ended up being various pieces of concrete and metal.

Then last week, workers removed six more drums from a location around 20 to 25 feet from the area where the first 16 drums were found — a discovery the DEC said was made after historic photographs were used to hone in on a second area for digging.

 Interim DEC Commissioner Sean Mahar said earlier this month that his agency was questioning Grumman about why scans hadn't revealed the additional half-dozen drums. 

Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino said Wednesday that Grumman's hiring of an additional contractor was needed to ensure more drums aren't underground. 

 "We have demanded that they use better technology and do it in a more thorough way," he added.  

The DEC has said initial testing showed the contents of first six of the 22 drums contained waste petroleum and chlorinated solvents including trichloroethylene (TCE), a known carcinogen.

The agency hasn't released full results on the contents of the drums but previously said those compounds "are consistent with known historic operations" that are "the focus of the ongoing remedial action."

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