The Gathering Plume

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A recently published report detailed a meeting that was held in Bethpage hosted by the Navy, in which state officials and others were in attendance. Over the course of many months and years, those responsible for the planning and execution of a solution have been allowing the Navy, Grumman and DEC to vacillate on an urgently required aggressive course of action. This plume is not new and while it is the most lethal, it is actually a combination of several pollution plumes dating back decades.

Many will agree that for years, Long Island has had the distinction of sweeping pollution issues under the carpet, and we continue to deal with the repercussions today. An example of this are the scars left on the land and ground water from the former Liberty site in Farmingdale. Many will agree that the local authorities do not have the fortitude to get the remediation jobs done properly. Many will also agree that the local authorities find self-serving gratification in accepting funds from the Navy and Grumman for their local, special interests.

During the 1980s, we all saw the physical and economic devastation of Love Canal. Currently, we are seeing only the initial effects of poorly managed water systems in Flint, MI. These incidents will pale in comparison to the health, vitality and vigor of Nassau County and New Your State if we need to abandon our sole source aquifer drinking water. The effects on our communities would be catastrophic if parts of Bethpage need to be abandoned in order to excavate the soils, if water tunnels need to be installed to upstate reservoirs, or if toxic water is sent down our creeks into the Great South Bay.

It is time to say “No More!” It is time to demand an exacting response, and it is time to demand a class action lawsuit against all those responsible. As a resident in a community at the extreme downstream dumping location for the toxic water into Massapequa Creek, this cannot occur.

—Phil Healey, president of Biltmore Shores Civic Association

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