Map showing sites being investigated for PFAS contamination inside the Calverton Enterprise Park. Source: U.S. Navy presentation April 19, 2023

PFAS, the synthetic “forever chemicals” contaminating drinking water wells in various locations in and around the Calverton area, are once again on the agenda of the U.S. Navy for its next meeting of the Calverton Restoration Advisory Board, which is the community liaison for the ongoing environmental cleanup of the former Grumman site.

Environmental investigators employed by the Navy have found areas of PFAS contamination — some at very high levels — at the former Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant in Calverton that was once leased to Navy contractor Northrop Grumman.

At the most recent meeting of the Calverton RAB in April, Navy representatives disclosed the designation of several new areas of concern and sites for investigation and eventual cleanup of PFAS at the former Grumman site, which was deeded by the Navy to the Town of Riverhead Community Development Agency in 1998, after Northrop Grumman vacated the site.

At the April meeting of the RABm the Navy said it was beginning a process required by a federal law called the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, known as CERCLA, for investigation and remediation of the new areas of concern.

The CERCLA process requires the Navy to conduct what’s called a remedial investigation, which involves an evaluation of the nature and extent of the contamination and assessing potential threats to human health and the environment, Navy representative said at the April meeting. The Navy will then reach decisions on remedies for each of the sites. The record of decision describes the cleanup remedies. A public comment period is required before a final record of decision is adopted. Then, cleanup plans are developed, implemented and monitored. If the cleanup is successful, the site is deemed suitable for reuse. The process can take several years.

Navy representatives will update the RAB on progress to date with the following presentations scheduled for this week’s meeting:

  • AOC-06 Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) supplemental site inspection results summary (Navy website link to this presentation was not working as of publication time.)

The RAB meeting will begin Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. at Manorville Fire Department headquarters, 15 Silas Carter Road, Manorville.

Navy representatives will also host an open house just prior to the meeting, from 5:30 to 6 p.m., which will include informational displays and a chance to speak with representatives from the Navy and partnering agencies, the Navy said in a press release.

The RAB is an open public forum for the Navy and regulatory agencies to exchange information with official RAB community members on environmental programs underway at the Calverton plant. Although the RAB is open to the public, there will only be a limited amount of time for public questions following the scheduled RAB presentations, according to a press release from the Navy announcing the upcoming RAB meeting.

The public may attend the RAB in person, by phone, or virtually through the free webinar tool Microsoft Teams. Virtual attendees will be able to join the webinar up to 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. The webinar login information is as follows:

• Online: https://tinyurl.com/bdcuwe79

• Meeting ID: 258 179 065 757

• Event Password: ccNJtx

• Telephone: (332) 249-0605

• Phone Conference ID: 522 949 101#

Further instructions for the upcoming Open House and RAB meeting are provided on the Navy’s website for NWIRP Calverton, under Community Outreach.

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