Plume Cleanup Nets Funding

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Congressman Tom Suozzi with Steven Iselin, assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, and Karnig Ohannessian, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for the Environment

A critical water cleanup effort on the island is a step closer to reality after a push by a local elected official.

Congressman Tom Suozzi recently announced that the Bethpage Water District has reached a financial agreement with the Department of the Navy that will provide $6.78 million in funding that will ultimately help with cleaning up the Navy/Grumman plume.

“I can’t thank Congressman Suozzi enough for his support in helping us get these funds. His compassion and dedication to driving the ball forward on the cleanup efforts has been critical. This will make a big difference for the people of Bethpage,” said Michael Boufis, Bethpage Water District Superintendent.

The Navy has agreed to pay $6.78 million of the costs upfront and will reimburse the Bethpage Water District for the remaining costs. All the funds will go to upgrading the Bethpage Water District’s Plant 6, which has been adversely affected by high levels of groundwater contamination. Suozzi helped guide the agreement through the legal process after the preliminary agreement was reached.

“People living in Bethpage and surrounding areas have been dealing with this for way too long,” said Suozzi. “I’m happy they’ll be getting this critical funding and that the Navy has done the right thing in paying for it. We have a long way to go, but this is a tremendous financial relief for the Bethpage Water District as they move forward with the remediation process.”

Suozzi also visited the Pentagon recently where he met with Steven Iselin, assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment and Karnig Ohannessian, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for the Environment. They discussed the cleanup of the Navy/Grumman plume and how to best keep the cleanup process moving along.

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