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Clearwater wants more PCB dredging

Dec 26, 2018 12:16 am
The Daily Freeman reports that the Hudson River advocacy group Clearwater wants General Electric to finish its cleanup of PCBs from the upper Hudson River. The Beacon-based organization was agreeing with a 294-page report report from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, released Dec. 20, that said GE's dredging did not remove all the PCBs from the river. “While we all can appreciate how much cleaner the Hudson River appears in the last 50 years, thousands of us depend on it for food and are still living with PCB-contaminated fish," Clearwater Executive Director Greg Williams said in a statement. "Part of GE’s responsibility under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 is to make the fish once again safe to eat. This announcement [by the state] gives us hope that we will not have to wait another 50 years.” GE wants a certificate of completion from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but last week New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on the EPA to withhold that certificate. "The health of the Hudson River estuary and the vitality of the communities along its banks are at stake, and the EPA must not let GE off the hook for a job that is not done," Cuomo said. GE claims the state's data shows 99.8 percent of samples with PCB concentrations below the EPA's threshold for requiring dredging. No one disputes that GE dumped polychlorinated biphenyls, a carcinogenic, into the Hudson River from two of its plants from the 1940s until the substance was banned by the federal government in 1977. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.
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