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GE agrees to study lower Hudson River for contamination

Sep 14, 2022 12:45 am

Rick Karlin is reporting for the Times Union that General Electric Co. has agreed to conduct a study of possible PCB and other contamination in the lower Hudson River from the Troy Dam to New York Harbor. The agreement was announced by the federal Environmental Protection Agency on September 13. New York parties, led by Department of Environmental Commissioner Basil Seggos as well as the Hudson Riverkeeper group, have maintained that more studies, as well as additional dredging, will likely have to be done. GE has taken the position that its dredging was completed in 2015 when, following an agreement with the EPA, they removed approximately 2.5 million cubic yards of PCB-laden sediment from a 40-mile stretch of the river between Fort Edward and Troy. The contamination dates from the 1940s to the 1970s, when GE regularly discharged PCBs into the Hudson from its capacitor plants in Fort Edward and Hudson Falls. While it was legal to do so at the time, the dumping sparked worries about pollution since PCB is now considered a probable carcinogen. Under the new agreement, GE will develop a plan for “extensive water, sediment, and fish sampling between the Troy Dam and the mouth of the New York Harbor.” The organization will look for evidence of PCBs and other contaminants as well. New data is needed to determine the best path forward, according to the EPA. This is being done in advance of what could be formal studies that could come before a cleanup plan. EPA Regional Administrator Lisa Garcia in a statement, “The information will help us determine whether and how to prioritize investigations in each portion of the lower Hudson and how to best address contamination.” Read the full story in the Times Union.