Plumegate

On June 26, I attended a hearing at Great Neck South Middle School, held by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) regarding a Superfund site near my home. For years, the Sperry Company used toxic chemicals in their manufacturing operations on a large site at the intersection of Lakeville Road and Marcus Blvd. The chemicals have seeped into the ground and infected the water table. The pollution has been labeled “the Plume” because it is expanding, mostly north and west. According to the map, it seems to be under my street, and is slowly commuting to Queens.
Officials have known about the Plume for 17 years, and have been diddling with temporary fixes. Now, they want to do a big fix, and the hearing was held to decide how big a fix we need. The choices are #1, which is doing nothing at a cost of $00.00, to #5, which would restore the site as much as possible to its pre-polluted state, and which would cost $34,000,000 and $5,500,000 per year. The DEC officials are leaning towards #2, at a cost of $8,600,000 and $1,4000.000 per year. Northrup Grumman now owns the site, and they are paying for the fix, so, obviously, a smaller fix is better for their bottom line.
I want to know why the experts seem determined to pursue remedy #2. I realize that they may never be able to restore the site in question to its pre-polluted state, but don’t you think they should give it their best shot, and try?
To that end, I wrote to Girish Desai, NYSDEC Project Manager, asking him to please explain why solution #2 is better than solution #5. I received a response stating that I will be alerted when the NYSDEC makes its final decision. I encourage you to write immediately to gvdesai@gw.dec.state.ny.us to express your opinion on this matter. You can also sign up to receive fact sheets from the NYSDEC at www.dec.state.ny.gov/chemical/61092.html.
We must pressure our officials to make the best decision for our environment and for the residents of Great Neck.

Ruth Shalom