What is the Bethpage Toxic Plume?
August 29, 2018 | Environmental Litigation
The Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant of Bethpage, also known as the Northrop Grumman Site Facility was a government-owned facility that was first officially established in 194. Its purpose was to design, fabricate, and test prototype aircraft for the US Navy and the NASA and it operated out of the area known as Oyster Bay in Bethpage, New York. However, over time, concern began to arise about the safety of th site and the areas surrounding it as fears over contamination started to grow. Two groundwater plumes of toxic chemicals, mostly volatile organic compounds migrating from property, were discovered in 1986 and in 2009, affecting the water district well fields. The former government facility is now subject to state Superfund cleanup plans that are attempting to clean up the mess and prevent further spread of the toxic contamination. Special water treatment plants were established in the early 2000s. The former Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant is situated on 605 acres in the Town of Oyster Bay, Bethpage, NY.
The Grumman Corporation
In 1936 the Grumman Corporation was founded and produced aircraft at the site, before the Navy established the Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant, Bethpage there in 1941. “In 1986, the first of 2 known plumes of contamination was discovered, a shallow one; in 2009 a larger, deeper plume was found under what became the Bethpage Community Park. Grumman installed and operates an Onsite Containment System. There are public and private water wells located within a two-mile radius of the plant, as of 2014 and local water districts worry that public-supply wells could be affected. 2014 results from a monitoring well the Navy installed north of Hempstead Turnpike show Trichloroethylene levels as high as 4,600 parts per billion in groundwater hundreds of feet below the surface” (Wikipedia).
Massive bethpage plume Cleanup Efforts
Implementation of a intense green remediation clean is being implemented as per NYSDEC Division of Environmental Remediation (DER) Guidance-31. The major green remediation components are as follows:
- considering the environmental impacts the Bethpage plumes are having now and will potentially have over the long term if they are left alone;
- reducing direct and indirect greenhouse gas and other emissions so the impact on the environment and surrounding area is minimized;
- increasing energy efficiency and minimizing use of non-renewable energy to reduce occurrence like this from happening again;
- conserving, protecting, recycling, and efficiently managing resources and materials to protect the environment and natural resources;
- reducing waste, increasing recycling and increasing reuse of materials which would otherwise be considered a waste;
- educate the general public about water safety and environmental protection practices that apply to general waste disposal;
- maximizing habitat value and creating habitat when possible and minimizing the impact industrialization work has on nearby habitats;
- fostering green and healthy communities along with landscape and plantings which balance ecological, economic and social goals;
- working with local communities impacted by environmental hazards to ensure safe conditions are restored and maintained as much as possible;
- integrating the remedy with the end use where possible and encouraging green and sustainable re-development; and
- maximizing the reuse of the treated groundwater to reduce water wat in applications like gold courses and landscape watering.
Residents in and around the affected area have been pushing to file lawsuits against the town because of injuries and illnesses they are suffering because of the exposure to the toxic plumes moving through the ground. Progress on the lawsuit has been slow, but last year a breakthrough was achieved with the A Nassau County Supreme Court Judge that allowed the legal proceedings to continue. Due to the chemicals’ extreme volatility, the contaminants are migrating up as vapors through the soil and into the residents’ yards, basements, and homes. Exposed families are at a risk of liver damage, kidney damage, cardiovascular damage, impaired immune system function, bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, renal cell carcinoma, as well as other illnesses and cancers. Pregnant women are especially at risk, as ingestion could impair fetal development. The Court agreed with the petitioners’ motion to allow the case to go forward with their suit against the Town regardless of when they were injured. This decision is good news for individuals who were injured years ago by toxic pollutants, but only recently discovered the presence of these pollutants in their homes or property. With this ruling the doors are now open for victims to begin actively seeking compensation for illness, injury, and wrongful death cases they are bringing against the city because of the Bethpage Toxic Plume and the devastating toxic waste that is polluting their homes and neighborhoods. It is one of many steps that need to be taken but it is a start at least.
Contact Us to Learn More
If you or a loved one has been affected by the Bethpage Toxic Plume, or you know someone who has, contact us today for more information. We can help you with the new legal proceedings and will be happy to discuss your options with you. You do not have to go at it alone, we are here to help you find your way through the sea of red tape and legal jargon. We will stand with you and fight for you and help you get the support and compensation that you deserve! No one should fight alone so get the support that you deserve in your hour of need. Call us today for a free consultation and in depth case review!
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