Salon: Andrew Cuomo’s new environmental test: General Electric threatens the future of the Hudson River
"Environmental groups and Democratic legislators are pressuring New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to say that General Electric must continue cleaning up the massive pollution the company dumped into the Hudson River from 1947 to 1977. Cuomo’s own environmental officials say the pollution continues to cause “ongoing contamination,” and federal officials warn that GE’s plan to end its cleanup this fall could harm the effort to restore the river’s ecosystem.
But the Democratic governor—who has benefited from GE’s campaign cash—is declining to say whether he agrees." Read the whole article here.
Record Online reported this weekend: " Three groups dedicated to keeping the Hudson River clean — Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson and Clearwater — expressed alarm last week at what they say are misleading numbers used by the federal government and General Electric about the levels of carcinogens in fish.
Nothing to worry about, GE says. We agree, says the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
Three groups charged with detecting damage to the river that would harm the public — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the state Department of Environmental Conservation, collectively known as the Hudson River Natural Resources Trustees — say that contaminants dumped into the Hudson and being dredged from it have caused harm elsewhere. At least three and possibly more upstate towns have contaminated groundwater as a result of the polychlorinated biphenyls and other chemicals that GE disposed of in the river for decades, the trustees reported last week." Read more here.
On Thursday 10th of September Times Union reported: "Four environmental groups pushed Gov. Andrew Cuomo to show "strong and conscientious leadership" by making General Electric Co. expand its PCB cleanup of the Hudson River and stop dismantling a critical PCB processing facility in Washington County.
In a letter to the governor Wednesday, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Scenic Hudson, Riverkeeper and Hudson River Sloop Clearwater also accused GE of playing "fast and loose" with a decade's worth its PCB testing of river fish to obtain misleadingly low results." Read more about the story here.Read more
Troy Record reports on the letter Clearwater, NRDC, Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson wrote Gov. Cuomo yesterday urging him to take the lead in pushing GE to clean up the rest of its PCBs: "Environmentalists say Gov. Andrew should keep General Electric Co. from dismantling PCB dredging equipment pending a thorough review of the project’s success.
This fall, GE plans to conclude an estimated $2 billion, federally-ordered cleanup of the Hudson River from Fort Edward to Troy.
The company discharged PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), a suspected carcinogen, into the river from plants at Hudson Falls and Fort Edward from the 1940s to 1977. Dredging ordered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began in 2009 and will be completed next month or in early November.
Plans call for removing treatment and processing infrastructure by the end of this year, as called for in an agreement between GE and the EPA. But four prominent environmental groups say equipment shouldn’t be removed until 136 acres of alleged PCB “hot spots,” not identified in the original cleanup plan, are dredged, too." Read more here.Read more
Times Union editorial, calling on GE not to dismantle its Fort Edwards dredging facility: "As GE continues to push for the closeout of its nearly $1 billion project to remove PCBs from the Hudson River, evidence continues to mount that much still needs to be done to help our region recover from the ravages of the company’s three decades of dumping the toxic chemical into the river.
New York Times editorial board writes in calling on Gov. Cuomo to "insist that GE do right by the river.":
"Hudson River update, September 2015: The river is still contaminated and it’s still General Electric’s fault. Toxic industrial waste is still flowing down nearly 200 miles of river from north of Albany to New York City. And though the company has spent the last six years digging up the PCBs that it dumped into the river decades ago, it is about to walk away from an unfinished job. It is getting ready to dismantle its dredging operation this fall, and leave 136 undredged acres for others to worry about.
But wait, you say — it says here on a G.E. website that the job is almost done, that the company will soon have “addressed 100 percent” of the PCBs it was supposed to remove under an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency under the Superfund law. It is getting ready to move on to habitat restoration, environmental monitoring and other good things."
Times Union reports: "Catholic institutional investors with stock in General Electric Co. and Hudson River boaters' clubs have joined a growing chorus of groups that want GE to expand PCB dredging of the Hudson River and stop dismantling a critical PCB cleanup facility on the river in Fort Edward. The Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, which represents about 40 Catholic religious orders in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, warned GE in an Aug. 21 letter to CEO Jeffrey Immelt that should it end its clean-up with PCBs still left in the river's Champlain Canal and other areas, the corporation risked both future lawsuits and being seen as a "bad actor.""
Times Union editorial covers the deal Governor Cuomo is negotiating with GE and why it is important to take into account in the negotiations GE's responsibilities to finish cleaning up the PCB's from the Hudson River: "It took decades for state and federal officials to convince GE to pony up for the complex dredging process – covering some 500 acres of river bottom – conducted over the past six years. Now, GE, with the apparent blessing of the Environmental Protection Agency, has begun decommissioning its dredging operations. Not so fast." Read more here.
Andrew Cuomo GE Deal: NY Taxpayers to Subsidize General Electric As Critics Slam Company For Toxic Pollution, Unfinished Cleanup
On the 26th of August, International Business Times wrote about New York Governor's new deal with General Electric: "New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week proudly declared that he had successfully lured General Electric into “coming home.” It took $50 million in taxpayer subsidies to convince the company to build a new manufacturing facility in upstate New York, but this was money well spent, Cuomo asserted, noting that GE used to be “such a big part of this community and provided so many jobs and was such a vital player in this community.” Cuomo is now pushing to authorize an additional, undisclosed amount to entice GE to also relocate its corporate headquarters from Connecticut back to New York, some 40 years after it left."