Today, Congressmen Steve Israel (D-Huntington) and Peter King (R-Seaford) and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano lauded the news that the former Grumman site, near a New York State Superfund site, is no longer being considered to house the influx of unaccompanied children who are entering U.S. borders illegally. They were in touch with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the General Services Administration (GSA) to express their concern and disapproval, and were notified this morning by HHS that the agency is no longer moving ahead with consideration of the site.
Rep. Israel said, "I was happy to learn that the site in Bethpage will no longer be considered to house unaccompanied minors entering U.S. borders illegally. While we must find viable and humane options to deal with the influx of these children, stockpiling them in a warehouse close to a Superfund site was an inhumane and unfeasible solution. I am pleased that I was able to work with Rep. King and County Executive Mangano to advocate for the needs of our community."
Rep. King said, "I am pleased that HHS agreed that the Bethpage industrial park is not appropriate to shelter hundreds if not thousands of illegal immigrant children from the southwest border. Going forward I urge the Administration to find a humanitarian solution that focuses on stopping the flow across the southwest border and increasing security efforts."
County Executive Mangano said, "I thank Congressmen Steve Israel and Peter King for their partnership in stopping the Federal government's ill-conceived housing plan for unaccompanied children who crossed our borders illegally."
The Northrop Grumman - Bethpage Facility, a Superfund site, is a part of the former Grumman Aerospace complex. The complex housed two companies: Grumman Aerospace and Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant, a government owned, contractor-operated facility.
From roughly 1949 to 1962, the Grumman Settling Ponds area, in the north section of the site, was used for dewatering of sludge, including neutralized chromic acid waste, from the waste water treatment facility. The site was placed on the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites in New York State in 1983, and remediation work has been conducted over a number of years to try to mitigate the environmental impact the dumping has had. However, volatile organic compounds still exist in the soil and groundwater and additional remediation work has been ongoing.