Monday, September 28, 2009

Groundwater Contamination Confirmed at Glenwood Landing Waterfront Propane Field

Research conducted independently by a Newsday reporter and the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor reveals that groundwater under the former propane field on the west side of Shore Road in Glenwood Landing is contaminated. The contaminant belongs to a group of chemicals called tetrachlorides (THCs), solvents that are often associated with the dry cleaning industry.

The property is located south of Tappen Beach. For the last half of the last century it housed an underground gas storage facility operated by the Long Island Lighting Company. Earlier in this decade, the gas storage facility was decommissioned, and the soil was cleaned up to residential standards.

Under the Glenwood Landing Waterfront Revitalization and Redevelopment Plan, the property was rezoned from industrial to water dependent use—a new town-wide zone created as a result of the plan.

The Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association and Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor proposed the site for public acquisition under the Town of Oyster Bay’s (TOB's) environmental bond act. Today the site remains in utility hands and is on both the Nassau County and TOB priority lists for land acquisition.

The present owner or owners (the Long Island Power Authority, KeySpan, National Grid, or some combination thereof) say that they are not responsible for cleaning up the groundwater contamination because the contamination was not caused by the utilities.

According to the Coalition, the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation says that the groundwater contamination would, or could, be capped when and if construction occurs at the site and that this approach would not be unusual.

Currently, we have no information about how much contamination is entering the harbor, what the impact might be, or what the cost of the cleanup might be. It's also not clear how, or if, the use of the property, i.e., recreational or residential, might affect the groundwater cleanup.

We also have no information about a responsible party trail or how aggressively the trail is being pursued.

These developments have been passed along to key personnel at the Town of Oyster Bay, who say the are pursuing the matter.

No comments: