News Feature | July 12, 2018

Contaminated Superfund Site On Long Island Prompts Lawsuit

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,

Two businesses are being sued by the U.S. Attorney’s office for allegedly contaminating drinking water on Long Island.

The civil complaint against two businesses seeks to recover costs incurred by the U.S. EPA. The costs went to investigating and cleaning up groundwater contamination at a superfund site, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of New York, per Patch.

The superfund site in question is an area of widespread groundwater contamination. The primary contaminants are tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE) and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), according to the U.S. EPA.

United States Attorney Richard Donoghue called the suit “a warning” to anyone who pollutes the environment without taking financial responsibility.

“Superfund is a cornerstone of EPA’s core mission. This action is necessary to advance cleanup efforts and protect public health,” EPA Regional Administrator Lopez said in a statement. “The Superfund program is intended to make sure that those who contributed to contamination help pay for its cleanup. Simply stated, the complaint will help EPA seek reimbursement from the responsible parties for the taxpayer money it spent investigating the site.”

IMC Eastern Corporation (IMC) and Island Transportation Corporation are the two companies being sued.

“The complaint alleges these businesses contributed to groundwater contamination at the 6.5-square-mile superfund site, which is located in the towns of Hempstead, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay. It includes residential, commercial and industrial areas,” Patch reported.

Long Island faces a number of water contamination challenges. For instance, utility officials on Long Island are working to expand their treatment capabilities to ward off the threat of dioxane contamination. Dioxane appears to be a widespread contaminant on the island.

A report released by last year by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment showed that samples have turned up unsafe levels of the manufacturing solvent in multiple Long Island communities, CBS New York reported. The report included an interactive map highlighting sites of dioxane contamination.