Photo by Oliver Contreras/SIPA USA

Sen. Schumer Calls For Second Radium Test At Plume In Bethpage

June 24, 2019 - 3:26 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A test for radium at the contaminated Bethpage plume came back negative, but Sen. Chuck Schumer on Monday raised concerns about the company that did the testing.

Last month, the state unveiled a $585 million plan to contain and treat groundwater pollution spreading from the former Northrop Grumman and U.S. Navy facilities on Long Island.

The toxic area has been slowly spreading south for decades and has already contaminated at least 11 public water supply wells.

Sen. Schumer said that while the Bethpage plume tested negative from radium, he notes that the company has a checkered past and wants a second test conducted, saying it’s better to be safe than sorry.  

“Unfortunately, the contractor, they’ve had a checkered past. In California, they were caught falsifying data and other information,” Schumer said.

He says a second test to guarantee the public safety is needed and necessary.

“We need some back-up, we need another firm to check as well. Radium's bad stuff. We wanna make sure it's not in our water supply, and if it is, we want to get rid of it as quickly as possible,” the Democrat said.

It's expected to take at least five years to implement the cleanup plan but it could take up to 110 years to fully remove the toxins from the groundwater on Long Island.