Long Island community concerned after large chemical drums found at Bethpage Community Park

Chanteé Lans Image
Wednesday, April 3, 2024
Long Island community concerned after chemical drums found at local park
Chantee Lans reports that large chemical drums were dug up at Bethpage Community Park.

BETHPAGE, Long Island (WABC) -- There are growing concerns about toxic pollution at a town on Long Island after large chemical drums were dug up at a local park.

Hazmat crews are carefully testing chemicals found at Bethpage Community Park.

It comes after contractors found six large concrete encased chemical drums last week, that were buried beneath the soil.

It's raising new concerns about the extent of the toxic pollution at the one-time Northrop Grumman Aerospace Dumping Ground.

"The discovery of the drums in these coffin-like vaults is further proof that Grumman created an environmental graveyard of contaminants right here in this park," said Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino.

He says the park has had its ballfield closed for the last 20 years due to soil contamination concerns.

He wants a full soil excavation at the expense of Grumman, not the taxpayers, who he says has already spent $20 million to clean the soil to be able to use the park's ice skating rink.

He filed a lawsuit against Grumman a decade ago to be reimbursed, and a new one in September demanding that the state force Grumman to thoroughly rid the soil of any contaminants.

"I've had it. I've had it. I've been working on this for over 20 years as a New York State assembly member and now as the supervisor of the fourth largest town in America and I'm not going to sit by idly," Saladino said.

Saladino says Northrop Grumman recently informed the town that the six, 55-gallon drums are filled with dangerous chemicals.

They were found seven feet below the soil, between a skating rink and the ball field. He says at least one of the drums is flammable.

Northrop Grumman officials say they're working with the state Department of Environment Conservation to address the problem.

"We believe there may be another set of drums beneath those drums even deeper in the earth and there's nothing that says this is over," Saladino said.


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