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Hudson River still impacted by PCBs

Feb 01, 2018 12:07 pm
Brian Nearing reports in the Albany Times-Union that while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decides whether General Electric cleaned enough PCBs out of the Hudson River, two other federal agencies and a state agency reported that high levels of the toxic chemical and will remain in the river for many years. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and New York's Department of Environmental Conservation released the report Jan. 30 saying the PCBs continue to harm the river. "Injuries to the Hudson River from decades of PCB contamination continue to mount," said Kathryn Jahn, a case manager for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "PCBs released by General Electric have caused repeated and prolonged exceedances of state and federal water quality standards, contaminating surface water resources of the Hudson River." GE dredged 72 percent of the PCBs known to be in the river, with about 120,000 pounds known to be still along the riverbed north of Albany. The report was based on 10,000 tests of the river between 1976 and 2014. "EPA has said the remedy is functioning as intended, and PCB levels in water have declined at every monitoring station in the upper and lower Hudson since dredging ended in 2015. EPA said it expects those declines to continue, " said GE spokesman Mark Behan. The EPA recently said it is reviewing the Hudson River PCB tests conducted by the state last year in advance of ruling whether the $1.7 billion, seven-year dredging project was a success. Read the full story in the Albany Times-Union.