By Jano Tantongco
Congressman-elect Thomas Suozzi has begun his work ahead of his entrance into Washington, D.C. by touring the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center and meeting with water district officials to discuss the Northrop Grumman contamination plume in Bethpage.
“There is so much to do! These issues impact people’s lives and we must work together to find solutions to the problems facing families on Long Island and in Queens,” Suozzi stated. “That’s why I held over 20 town halls, in every part of the district, during the campaign and will continue to hold events across the district so everyone on the North Shore knows they have a voice in Congress.”
On Nov. 24, Suozzi visited the Northport VA to tour the facility and meet with veterans and staff including Director Phillip Moschitta to discuss quality-of-life issues impacting the medical center and its patients. Earlier this year, the operating rooms in the VA were closed due to particulate contamination found in the duct system.
“A government’s first obligation is to support those that served our country,” Suozzi stated. “In Congress, I will work to ensure the services and benefits our veterans earned are available when they come home by helping to make sure the Northport VAMC, and other facilities on Long Island are among the best in the country.”
Suozzi also met with officials from the Bethpage, South Farmingdale and Massapequa water districts to address the impact of the Northrop Grumman plume on the public water supply. The toxic plume was discovered to have been moving underground for decades as a result of operations at the Grumman facility, which was once operated by the Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Navy.
Suozzi called on all sides to come together to remediate the environmental damage for residents of the community.
“We need Grumman, the U.S. Navy, the DEC, the EPA, the New York State and Nassau County Departments of Health, and all other stakeholders to get this cleanup moving,” Suozzi stated. “Forty years and millions of dollars and the plume is still spreading, and that’s unacceptable!”
The congressman-elect was elected on Nov. 8 into office. He will step into the seat of the 3rd Congressional District on Jan. 3, when he will replace the incumbent Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), who had decided not to run for re-election.