Read the full article by Tim Gannon (Riverhead News Review)

“Riverhead Town’s plans to upgrade its antiquated Calverton Sewer District will cost a little more than originally expected. Officials have discovered the presence of PFAS and PFOA in the groundwater there, according to Tim Norberg, an engineer for H2M who is working with the town on the upgrade.

The additional cost of $305,404 will bring the total cost of the upgrade to $10,869,592.

PFAS and PFOA are artificial compounds that were used in firefighting foams and have been known to have adverse health affects such as increased cholesterol levels, changes in growth, immune system changes and increased risk for cancer, among other things.

They are frequently found near former airport sites, such as Calverton, which was used by the Grumman Corporation for many years, under contract from the Navy.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation wants the town to remove the PFAS and PFOA from the site to undetectable levels, he said.

‘This is a Navy issue,’ Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said. 

‘Now we are in the middle of a capital project and we detect PFAS, and the levels are not acceptable,’ she said.

Mr. Norberg said the levels are above state levels — which is 10 parts per trillion — but below federal levels, which are 70 parts per trillion. He said the water they tested at Calverton Sewer Plant site ranged from 25 to under 70 parts per trillion.

Michael Reichel, the town’s sewage department superintendent, said the town reached out to the Navy to see if they would help by providing manpower and equipment and they declined, saying they are required to meet the federal drinking water levels, not the state levels.

He said the town may pursue a lawsuit…”