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Audio Feature: Hudson River stories

May 29, 2017 12:02 am
Here are some stories from the Hudson River this week. Click here to hear an audio version of this report.

The Stevens Institute reports temperatures this week in the Hudson River at Schodack Island have been between 63 and 65 degrees.

Brian Nearing is reporting in the Times Union federal officials have one week left to grade the success of General Electric's effort to remove toxic PCBs from the Hudson River. In the meantime, elected officials and environmental activists are telling the Environmental Protection Agency the river cleanup is far from finished. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. representatives Paul Tonko and Nita Lowey, Sean Maloney and Eliot Engle of the Hudson Valley area, wrote to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt this week urging the agency to consider complaints made last year by the state Department of Environmental Conservation that too many PCBs remain. The letter advised the EPA to weigh DEC data that shows the remedy as prescribed is not "protective of human health and the environment." The letter further warned that "New Yorkers must not be left holding the bag for contamination that will render the Hudson River a Superfund site for generations to come." Under federal Superfund pollution rules, the EPA must review the effectiveness of its cleanup projects every five years. The federal agency had expected to issue its five-year review of the Hudson River cleanup in April, well in advance of a June 1 deadline. On Wed., May 24, an EPA spokesperson said no date for release of the report has been set. The current draft report runs to 900 pages and is still being revised. Read the full story in the Times Union.

• On May 25 Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) voted for the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017 which changes the Clean Water Act to allow companies an easier time discharging pesticides in waterways. The bill passed 256-to-165, with only one Republican voting against, and 25 Democrats on board. This bill amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (also known as the Clean Water Act) to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency or a state from requiring a permit for a discharge of a pesticide into navigable waters if the discharge is approved under FIFRA.

The Daily Freeman is reporting two teenagers were rescued from the middle of Catskill Creek, Fri., May 19, state police said Monday. Troopers received a call around 7 p.m. reporting that two teens were unable to make it up a trail to the Route 23 overpass of the creek. The police arrived to find the 14- and 15-year-olds stranded in the middle of the creek clinging to a rock ledge at the edge of a 15-foot waterfall. The Leeds Fire Department and Greene County paramedics responded and deployed a lifeline across the water. The 14-year-old was able to grab the line and made it to shore uninjured. The 15-year-old tried to follow, but lost his grip on the line and was swept over the falls into a pool of water below. Eventually, a medic was able to enter the water downstream and along with the crew, was able to get the boy out of the water. The 15-year-old was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital to be treated for possible hypothermia and minor injuries. Both teenagers were from Catskill. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

• On May 23, Cornell University and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences were recognized by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program for 20 years working to protect and preserve the Hudson River Estuary and its watershed. “While this award recognizes the crucial impact we have had so far, there remains much to be done to safeguard the Hudson River and its many communities. We are committed to applying our research and expertise to sustain this stunning natural resource for future generations of New Yorkers,” said college dean Kathryn J. Boor.

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