Battle to Remove PCBs Heads Down River to Beacon reports: "This fall, General Electric is scheduled to complete its court-ordered cleanup of the upper Hudson River, two years ahead of schedule. By then, GE will have removed more than 2.65 million cubic yards of sediment contaminated with toxic polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. Over a 30-year period, at GE’s two plants in Hudson Falls and Fort Edward, the Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that over 1.3 million pounds of PCBs were dumped into the Hudson River.

But while the cleanup will satisfy the demands of the EPA’s 2009 Superfund ruling, many local environmental groups and elected officials have said that it’s not enough. They’ve estimated that the court-ordered cleanup will only remove about 65 percent of the PCBs in the river. They’ve pointed out that contaminated sediment buildup has rendered the Champlain Canal unusable for commercial navigation. They’ve claimed that the remaining PCBs will continue to require severe restrictions on subsistence fishing — as of now, the New York State Department of Health recommends that only healthy adult males should eat what they catch in the Hudson, and even then only once a month — for generations to come. And with GE expected to dismantle its sophisticated dredging equipment and cleanup infrastructure in the fall, their voices are growing louder." Read more.

Photos by B. Cronin

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  • Bryndis Hlodversdottir
    published this page in News 2015-04-22 13:42:13 -0400