Russell Gardens to get monitoring wells to detect impending plume

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Representatives from Lockheed Martin address residents of Russell Gardens about concerns of a spreading groundwater plume. (Photo by Jessica Parks)
Representatives from Lockheed Martin address residents of Russell Gardens about concerns of a spreading groundwater plume. (Photo by Jessica Parks)

Lockheed Martin will be installing monitoring wells in Russell Gardens within a month, as a groundwater plume moves northwest toward the village and is expected to pass through sometime in 2020.

The underground plume originates from 1111 Marcus Ave., the former location of Unisys, a manufacturing company which dumped degreasers and industrial solvents into underground chambers. This, in turn, leaked carcinogenic chemicals into groundwater, creating a plume.

Lockheed ultimately acquired the company in 1996 and sold the property in 2000, but is responsible for managing the groundwater cleanup under the supervision of the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the water districts of Manhasset-Lakeville and Great Neck North.

Christine Blumberg, the village administrator, said the installation of the two monitoring wells on the west side of Tain Drive at Northern Boulevard will come at no cost to the village and likely take about a month.

“They’re still trying to iron out all the technical stuff,” Blumberg said.

Lockheed Martin representatives first told a Russell Gardens Board of Trustees meeting back in September they would install monitoring wells to alert them when contamination reached the area so it could be treated.

Eric Weinstock, a scientist contracted by Lockheed, and Glenda Clark, Lockheed’s project leader on cleaning up the contamination, both said at the time that there was “no risk to human health.”

This is because the plume is very deep underground and water is treated when it is pulled up, they said.

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