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For Release: Monday, April 1, 2013

DEC Selects Remedy for Cleanup of Contamination at Northrop Grumman Site in Bethpage

Remedy Cleans Up Hot Spots and Restores Bethpage Park

After carefully considering nearly 200 public comments, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has selected a remedy to clean up contamination at Operable Unit 3 of the Northrop Grumman - Bethpage Facility site (Former Grumman Settling Ponds) in Bethpage, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The remedy requires the cleanup of hot spots of contaminated groundwater that will significantly lessen the threat of migration to public drinking water supply wells. In addition, Bethpage Park will be cleaned up and restored for future use.

"DEC listened to and carefully considered the concerns of the public before selecting a remedy to address the long-standing contamination at Northrop Grumman site," Commissioner Martens said. "The remedy protects Long Island's drinking water by addressing hot spots of contaminated groundwater. The remedy also will restore the park so it can be used in the future. These actions help protect public health and the environment of Nassau County."

"Ensuring that the people of Long Island have access to safe and clean drinking water is vitally important to EPA," said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. "We appreciate the decision by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to move forward on this groundwater cleanup plan and will continue to work with the state, the local water districts and the public on finding a long-term solution to this water contamination problem."

DEC held a public meeting and availability sessions last June to present the Proposed Remedial Action Plan for the site and accepted comments from the public for 60 days. The public can now review the Record of Decision (ROD) outlining the selected remedy for Bethpage Park and related groundwater contamination, which are referred to as Operable Unit 3 (OU3). A Responsiveness Summary addressing public comments received is included in the ROD.

Summary of the selected remedy:

  • Install groundwater extraction wells in the groundwater plume emanating from OU3 in a location upgradient of Bethpage Water District Plant 4. This system will capture and treat the contamination moving through the hot spot area of the plume. Additional wells will be installed to complete the delineation of the leading edge of the OU3 plume. This will allow DEC to assess the remedy for contaminated groundwater and determine if it needs to be further evaluated.
  • Continue and upgrade as needed the existing groundwater extraction and treatment interim remedial measure at Bethpage Community Park as well as the soil vapor extraction and treatment system along the Grumman Access Road.
  • Treat an approximately 1-acre volatile organic compound source area in a low permeability zone present approximately 40 feet deep in the Bethpage Community Park using an in ground thermal treatment technology.
  • Excavate PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) and chromium-contaminated fill from the Bethpage Community Park and the Grumman Access Road right-of-way.
  • Cover the site with buildings, pavement and sidewalks or soil in areas where the upper two feet of exposed surface soil will exceed the restricted residential soil cleanup objectives.
  • Excavate and restore residential yards between Sycamore Avenue and the Grumman Access Road where PCBs exceed 1 ppm (part per million) or chromium exceeds the residential soil cleanup objectives.
  • Continue the Wellhead Treatment Contingency Plan put in place as a requirement of the OU2 ROD.
  • Implement a Site Management Plan.

The Northrop Grumman - Bethpage Facility site is listed as a Class 2 site in the State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites (list of state superfund sites). A Class 2 site represents a significant threat to public health or the environment; action is required. The former Grumman Settling Ponds and associated disposal areas are in the 18-acre Bethpage Community Park. This property was used historically for disposal of various wastes generated by industrial operations in the Grumman industrial complex. These wastes included chromium, PCBs and volatile organic compounds (chlorinated solvents used for cleaning or degreasing machinery or fabricated parts).

DEC will also require further investigation of a potential hot spot in the western portion of the OU2 groundwater plume, referred to as the VPB 126/128 area. This area is south of Hempstead Turnpike and west of Hicksville Road. The objective is to determine whether there is a groundwater hot spot in this area which requires remediation. This effort is consistent with provisions in the OU2 Record of Decision which was issued by DEC in March 2001.

After discussions between DEC, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, the United States Navy and the local water districts, the Navy and Grumman issued a work plan to begin looking at an area in the western area of the OU2 plume.

Under this plan, during the next two years, this area of the OU2 plume will be further delineated and, if warranted, a design will be prepared for one to three recovery wells and the associated treatment system. Implementation of the pumping and treatment would follow. In addition, sentinel wells for the two water district well fields where they are needed will be completed, and a round of sampling of all monitoring wells in the plume undertaken.

The ROD for OU3 with a Responsive Summary can be reviewed at the site document repository located at the:

Bethpage Public Library
Attn: Ms. Lois Lovisolo
Powell Avenue
Bethpage, NY 11714
Phone: 516.931.3907

Region 1 Environmental Remediation Project information is also available on DEC's website.

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