After public information sessions were held in the early summer of 2019, and as the public comment deadline was set to end, both the US Navy and Northrop- Grumman each submitted their own views on the State of New York’s plan to clean up the largest groundwater plume in the State. In a 50+ page letter from Northrop- Grumman (July 8, 2019) and a 20-page letter from the U.S. Department of the Navy (September 6, 2019), the parties criticized the plan proposed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Their objections in the amended Record of Decision (AROD) stated that the DEC plan was flawed, lacked an adequate scientific foundation, and was infeasible, impractical and possibly illegal. The cost for the “preferred” 30-year cleanup program is estimated at $585 million.
The full cleanup could take 110 years, so the initial cost is only part of the total bill. Northrop-Grumman claims to have spent $200 million so far on its own cleanup program. The Navy claims it has spent $131 million on cleanup efforts. If the NYS Cleanup Plan proceeds without Grumman and the Navy, the state will eventually sue the Navy and Northrop-Grumman to recoup the costs to the State of thecleanup.
Water for Long Island submitted comments on the AROD. The comments are posted on their website. Some of the issues raised by WFLI included: the impacts to Massapequa Creek, the failure to address radiological contaminants, the recharge location at Bethpage State Park, risks of saltwater intrusion, remediation of the deepest contamination at 900 feet, and a lack of confidence that the cleanup will be carried out to full completion.