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Source: Farmingdale Observer

Group Urges Cuomo To Sign Bill

BY FARMINGDALE OBSERVER STAFF

Posted: December 1, 2014
Originally Published: November 27, 2014

The Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a Farmingdale-based advocacy group, recently joined state lawmakers and Massapequa water district officials for a press conference calling on New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the proposed Navy Grumman Plume Remediation Act (A9492), which has already passed both the state Assembly and Senate, in an effort to protect Long Island’s drinking water and the Great South Bay from the Grumman-U.S. Navy underground plume of toxic chemicals.

At the press conference, Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said that adopting the legislation would “guarantee active interception of these toxic plumes before they get to a number of public water supply wells.”

New York State Assemblyman Joseph Saladino, who drafted and sponsored the bill, stressed that while the water at our tap is safe to drink, the more complete procedure is to build an infrastructure to clean the contaminants from local aquifers and to protect unaffected areas where the plume has not yet reached, as well as the waters and resources of the Great South Bay. According to Saladino, the legislation is a critical step in containment and remediation of this plume before its migration reaches public water supply wells.

“I have been working on this issue since I first took office in the Assembly and have spent the last five years trying to get this bill passed and signed,” Saladino said.

Legislation would require the state Department of Environmental Conservation create a plan to hydraulically contain and remediate the plume of chemical pollutants, which have been emanating from the Grumman Aircraft manufacturing facility in Bethpage for decades. These contaminants, which have permeated our sole source aquifer system are a threat to the water Long Islanders rely upon. Additionally, experts state if this plume is not contained it will permeate into our fresh water wetlands and the Great South Bay.

Before passing the bill, efforts at this DEC Superfund site have primarily been limited to testing, mapping out the scope of the plume and wellhead treatment. If ratified, hydraulic containment would involve drawing contaminated water from the aquifer and pumping to a cleaning facility, where the contaminants are removed before re-injecting the clean water back into the ground.

“This scenario exemplifies how Albany works,” Saladino added. “It is the strength and leverage of the Senate Republican Majority that played the biggest role in getting the bill to this point. Governor Cuomo’s realization that the Senate Majority and the people of our region want this containment and remediation to take place will go a long way to accomplishing our goal.”

To help support this effort, visit Assemblyman Saladino’s Facebook page and sign the petition lobbying Governor Cuomo to ratify this bill into law. You can also sign the petition at http://bit.ly/ProtectGreatSouthBay.