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Environmental Investigation and Cleanup Activities at the Former U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman Bethpage Facility Sites

Proposed Amended Remedy Addressing the Navy Grumman Groundwater Plume

NYSDEC issued a Fact Sheet (PDF) on May 23, 2019 announcing the release of the Proposed Amended Record of Decision (AROD) (PDF) for public review and the start of a 45-day comment period. The proposed AROD details the construction, long-term operation and maintenance of a full containment and treatment system to effectively halt further spread of the groundwater plume.

Public Comment Period: May 23, 2019 - July 8, 2019

Documents Related to the Proposed Amended Remedy Available Online:

Feasibility Study Report, April 2019 (PDF, 236 pages, 7.1 MB)

Proposed Amended Record of Decision, May 2019 (PDF, 58 pages, 3.3 MB)

Fact Sheet - Amended Remedy Proposed for Navy Grumman Groundwater Plume, May 2019 (PDF, 4 pages, 329 KB)

Proposed Amended Record of Decision June 10, 2019 Public Meeting Presentation (PDF, 53 pages, 4.6 MB)

Comments and questions are always welcome:

Site Location

PROJECT-RELATED QUESTIONS:
Jason Pelton, P.G.
Project Manager NYSDEC
625 Broadway
Albany, New York 12233
(518) 402-9676
jason.pelton@dec.ny.gov

HEALTH-RELATED QUESTIONS:
Steve Karpinski
Project Manager, NYSDOH
Empire State Plaza
Corning Tower, Room #1787
Albany, New York 12237
(518) 402-7860
beei@health.ny.gov

Site History

From 1942 to 1996, approximately 600 acres of property in the Town of Oyster Bay were used for the manufacture of military aircraft by the United States Navy and the Northrop Grumman Corporation. As shown on the figure to the right, the United States Navy owned approximately 109 acres for the Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant (NWIRP) and the remainder of the 600 acres was owned by Northrop Grumman.

The historic storage and disposal practices during this time period resulted in soil and groundwater contamination at this site. The primary contaminants are referred to as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and were commonly used by industry for degreasing purposes. While the U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman have taken remedial actions to address this contamination (discussed below), groundwater contamination continues to migrate south toward currently unimpacted public water supplies and unimpacted portions of the Long Island Sole Source Aquifer. The figure to the right shows the locations of the Northrop Grumman Bethpage Facility site and NWIRP sites.

Current Activities

Some of the major site-related activities that are currently being completed by NYSDEC, Northrop Grumman, and the U.S. Navy are summarized below.

Navy Grumman Groundwater Plume

Investigation and Feasibility Study Evaluating Supplemental Remedial Alternatives for the Navy Grumman Groundwater Plume
In February 2017, NYSDEC initiated an expanded and expedited investigation to develop an up-to-date understanding of the groundwater plume associated with the Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant site and Northrop Grumman Bethpage Facility site (Navy Grumman groundwater plume) and an engineering analysis to evaluate cleanup alternatives to address the Navy Grumman groundwater plume. To complete this investigation and engineering evaluation, NYSDEC partnered with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and issued a work assignment to the engineering contractor Henningson, Durham, & Richardson Architecture and Engineering, P.C. (HDR).

Some highlights of the expanded investigation are summarized below:

Vertical Profile Boring Drilling, Monitoring Well Installation, and Groundwater Sampling Program

Drilling Rig Used for Vertical Profile Boring

To help NYSDEC to understand the southern extent of the Navy Grumman groundwater plume, two vertical profile borings (VPBs) were advanced along the distal end of the plume. The borings were installed near the Southern State Parkway and drilled to depths of approximately 1,000 feet beneath the ground surface. To allow for the collection of groundwater samples from these two locations, the vertical profile borings were completed as permanent groundwater monitoring wells. The image to the left shows the equipment used to drill the vertical profile borings.

Figure Showing Navy Grumman Groundwater Plume in 2D




Comprehensive Groundwater Sampling Results Database Development
Groundwater quality data derived from previous investigations and routine groundwater sampling was compiled into a single comprehensive groundwater database. This database includes over 5,600 groundwater samples collected from over 540 locations for a total of over 200,000 individual records. The database was then used to analyze and evaluate the nature and extent of the Navy Grumman groundwater plume and to prepare up-to-date two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) visualizations of the groundwater contamination. As shown on the 2D plume representation on the figure to the right, the Navy Grumman groundwater plume (pink shading) extends approximately 4.3 miles south toward the Southern State Parkway and to depths of approximately 900 feet beneath the ground surface. At its widest point, the plume is approximately 2.1 miles wide. An example of the Trichoroethylene (TCE) plume in 3D is depicted in the figure below.

3D Representation of TCE Groundwater Plume (blue)




Groundwater Flow Modeling Program
In partnership with the USGS, an updated groundwater flow model capable of simulating groundwater flow beneath Long Island was developed. The USGS model was used to evaluate how various groundwater extraction and discharge scenarios influenced plume migration and groundwater containment and was a critical component of the Feasibility Study which led to the identification of a preferred remedy outlined in the Proposed Amended Record of Decision (AROD) for addressing the Navy Grumman groundwater plume.

Engineering Evaluation Included in a Feasibility Study
The engineering analysis and Feasibility Study relied on the results of the groundwater flow modeling to compare groundwater extraction alternatives and quantify the volume of groundwater requiring extraction, treatment, and discharge to achieve remedial action objectives. The primary objective of the engineering analysis is to evaluate technically feasible options to address the Navy Grumman groundwater plume in order to prevent its further expansion and migration and reduce its volume and contaminant concentrations, which is summarized in a Feasibility Study Report (PDF, 236 pages, 7.1 MB). Based on the results of the Feasibility Study, NYSDEC issued a Proposed AROD. The Proposed ROD Amendment identifies the preferred remedy, summarizes the other alternatives considered, and discusses the reasons for the preferred remedy.

Fast-Track Well Drilling Program

Fast Track Drilling

To jump-start the Navy Grumman groundwater plume cleanup effort, at the Governor's direction in the 2018 State of the State, NYSDEC fast-tracked the drilling and completion of three of the four groundwater extraction wells in 2018 and the drilling of the fourth extraction well will commence during the spring of 2019. These extraction wells were installed in areas with high concentrations of site contaminants and will ultimately be part of the overall system to remediate the Navy Grumman groundwater plume.

Northrop Grumman Remedial Activities

In accordance with 1995, 2001, and 2013 Records of Decision issued by NYSDEC, Northrop Grumman continues to implement several remedial actions. These include the following:

On-Site Containment System (ONCT)
Northrop Grumman has been pumping contaminated groundwater from five extraction wells since 1998. Following removal, the contaminated water is treated and returned to the aquifer through a series of recharge basins. In total, this system has removed over 200,000 pounds of contamination from the aquifer.

Bethpage Park Groundwater Containment System
Northrop Grumman has been pumping contaminated groundwater from four wells since 2009. Following removal, the contaminated water is treated and returned to the groundwater system through a series of recharge basins. In total, this system has removed over 2,200 pounds of contamination from the aquifer.

Soil Vapor Extraction System
Since 2009, Northrop Grumman has been operating a soil vapor extraction system to reduce soil gas concentrations and prevent off-site migration of soil vapor. Following removal, the contaminated soil vapor is treated and discharged to the atmosphere.

RW-21 Groundwater Hot Spot Area
Northrop Grumman identified an off-site area (RW-21 Area) with high concentrations of site contaminants in groundwater. Three recovery wells were recently installed to remove this contaminated groundwater and Northrop Grumman is developing plans to construct a treatment plant and an underground conveyance system to return the treated water to the aquifer. Northrop Grumman expects this system to be operating in 2020. This system will remove approximately two million gallons of contaminated water from the aquifer per day.

Drilling Thermal Remediation Well

Former Grumman Settling Ponds (Bethpage Community Park)
In early 2019, Northrop Grumman began drilling a series of in-situ (in-place) thermal remediation wells to address VOC contamination that remains in soil in the area of the Former Grumman Settling Ponds (former ballfield area). The in-situ thermal remedy will begin operation in mid-2019 and is expected to be completed by early 2020. While this in-situ thermal remedy is being implemented, Northrop Grumman will be designing a remedy involving excavation and off-site disposal of soil containing PCB and metals contamination present in the Former Grumman Settling Ponds area. This excavation remedy will be performed in accordance with NYSDEC approved work plans and following completion of the in-situ thermal remedy (expected early 2020).

Implementation of a Public Water Supply Contingency Plan
In cooperation with the U.S. Navy, Northrop Grumman continues to implement a Public Water Supply Contingency Plan. This plan involves monitoring groundwater quality in outpost monitoring wells to determine if wellhead treatment, or comparable alternative measures are needed to protect downgradient public water supplies.

Implementation of a Monitoring Plan
In cooperation with the U.S. Navy, Northrop Grumman continues with a long-term monitoring program to evaluate the current remedial activities, to better define the contaminant plume, determine if additional groundwater remediation is needed, and to assess the need for possible wellhead treatment under the Public Water Supply Contingency Plan.

United States Navy Remedial Activities

In accordance with 1995, 2003, 2015, and 2018 Records of Decision issued by the U.S. Navy and NYSDEC, the U.S. Navy continues to implement several remedial actions. These include the following:

GM-38 Groundwater Extraction and Treatment System
The U.S. Navy has been pumping contaminated groundwater from two wells since 2008. Following removal, the contaminated water is treated and returned to the groundwater system through a nearby recharge basin. In total, this system has removed over 10,000 pounds of contamination from the aquifer.

Soil Vapor Extraction System
Since 2009, the U.S. Navy has been operating a soil vapor extraction system to reduce soil gas concentrations and prevent off-site migration of soil vapor. Following removal, the contaminated soil vapor is treated and discharged to the atmosphere.

RE-108 Area
The U.S. Navy identified an off-site area (RE-108 Area) with high concentrations of site contaminants in groundwater. The U.S. Navy is currently designing a groundwater extraction, treatment, and disposal system. The U.S. Navy expects the first phase of the RE-108 system to be operating in 2020. When fully operating, this system will remove approximately two million gallons of contaminated water from the aquifer per day.

Site 1 - Former Drum Marshaling Area; Site 4 - Former Underground Storage Tank Area

Site 1 - Former Drum Marshaling Area
The U.S. Navy began site preparation work in early 2019 in support of a remedy involving the excavation and off-site disposal of approximately 45,000 cubic yards of PCB contaminated soil from the Site 1 - Former Drum Marshaling Area (see figure to left). The excavation, off-site disposal, and site restoration is expected to be completed by early 2020.

Site 4 - Former Underground Storage Tank Area
In late 2018, the U.S. Navy began operation of a steam injection with liquid recovery system to address fuel oil contamination in the area of former underground storage tanks. The system is expected to operate for approximately one to two years.

U.S. Navy Restoration Advisory Board Meetings
The U.S. Navy continues to hold Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) meetings twice annually (typically in April and November). These meetings are open to the public and allow the public to learn about current U.S. Navy activities and to ask questions.

Implementation of a Monitoring Program
As described above, in cooperation with Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Navy continues with a long-term monitoring program and the Public Water Supply Contingency Plan.

The U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman have provided funding to support the installation of wellhead treatment at six local public water supplies. This wellhead treatment allows the water purveyors to provide drinking water that meets the New York State Department of Health drinking water requirements.

For More Information

Complete copies of the documents listed on this web page and other documents pertaining to the investigation and cleanup activities, are available in hard copy and electronically for public review at the following location:

Bethpage Public Library
47 Powell Avenue
Bethpage, NY 11714
(516) 931-3907

Additional information and documents on the U.S. Navy activities at the Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant can be found at the following link: http://go.usa.gov/DyXF

If you have any questions regarding this site, please contact Mr. Jason Pelton, NYSDEC Project Manager, at (518) 402-9478.

Receive fact sheets about the Northrop Grumman and Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant Sites by email:

Sign up at the "DEC Delivers" web page to have fact sheets and other updates about the Sites delivered right to your email inbox. Be sure to sign up for "Nassau County".

Other Available Documents

In 2016 NYSDEC issued a Remedial Options Report (ROR). The ROR evaluated potential remedial options, costs, and timetables to intercept and remediate the groundwater plume associated with the Grumman Aerospace-Bethpage Facility. The ROR can be downloaded in two parts:

DEC invited public comment about the ROR between August 10 and September 9, 2016. Comments were received as follows:


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