Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino and Councilman Gary Hudes today discussed the town’s lawsuit against Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Navy and other entities that the officials believe are responsible for polluting groundwater. The contamination has caused the town to remove two water wells from service. The town is seeking $50 million to deal with incurred costs and potential costs associated with the contamination. In addition, the officials displayed new equipment that has been installed to deal with the pollutants to keep drinking water safe and pure.
“We’ve been working hard to protect the water that neighbors drink, and we are fighting to make sure that the cost of dealing with this mess does not fall upon the shoulders of ratepayers,” said Supervisor Santino. “The polluters should pick up the cost of cleaning up the contamination for which they are responsible and for water treatment equipment needed to keep local residents safe.”
The town has incurred construction and design costs of $8 million for treatment equipment to address contamination. Additionally, the town has confronted increased utility, maintenance and filtration costs. The township’s water department projects current and future costs could total $50 million.
“The town is taking a stand for the health of our residents and for the taxpayers and ratepayers who could be impacted by the cost of dealing with water contamination,” said Hudes.
The officials displayed the equipment they have installed at the Wantagh Avenue well site in Levittown to deal with pollutants. Specifically, the town has installed a packed tower aerator (aka an air stripper) to remove TCE and Freon from groundwater. Further, the town has also installed a carbon filtration system to prevent the contaminants that are removed from groundwater from being released into the air.
“It has cost our town a lot of money to address contamination issues created by polluters,” concluded Santino. “I am going to hold these polluters accountable for the health of our residents and their pocketbooks.”