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Audio Feature: Hudson River stories

Jun 03, 2017 4:00 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 below Poughkeepsie have been between 62 and 65 degrees.

The Daily Freeman reports that the Environmental Protection Agency released a review of the six-year, $1.7 billion Hudson River cleanup June 1, and the agency said it will take decades to get the waterway healthy again. But Catherine McCabe, Acting Regional Administrator for EPA's Region 2, says neither data, science nor law supports requiring General Electric to do more dredging. Between roughly 1947 and 1977, GE released between around 1,000,000 pounds of PCBs into the Hudson River. General Electric removed 2.75 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment from a 40-mile stretch of the upper Hudson during the six-year cleanup. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Tweeted, "Clean air and water shouldn't be up for debate for New York’s families. This decision is awful news for the Capital Region and Hudson Valley." The report says fish in the river could be safe to eat again once a week in "55 years or more," although river data collected by EPA during the last year are "not sufficient" to project that timetable more precisely. “We strongly disagree with their conclusions and maintain that the significant amount of contamination left in the river threatens both public health and the environment,” New York’s environmental commissioner, Basil Seggos, said. “This (EPA) decision flies in the face of the evidence,” said Riverkeeper president Paul Gallay. But Walter Mugdan, acting deputy regional administrator for EPA Region 2, thinks more dredging would prove both costly and inefficient. "A more aggressive model would only accelerate the process by a few years," Mugdan said, adding that the cost would be about $500 million. In a statement, GE said "EPA said the dredging remedy is functioning as intended and will be protective of human health and the environment. Hudson River Fishermen’s Association Vice President Gil Hawkins said, “The Hudson River Fishermen’s Association is disappointed to hear that the EPA is not acting on the findings of the five year review of GE’s cleanup actions. The tests of the downstream sections of the Hudson River have not been encouraging. Science and common sense prove that pollution flows downhill. The Record of Decision mandates the whole river, as a Superfund site, must be cleaned. The public demands that the EPA fulfills its contract with the American people.” No additional dredging in the Upper or Lower Hudson is recommended." The EPA did open a public comment on the report until June 30. Comments can be mailed to EPA Region 2 Director Gary Klawinski at 187 Wolf Road, Suite 303, Albany, NY 12205, or emailed to epahrfo@outlook.com.The Daily Freeman reports

• The City of Hudson Wastewater Treatment Facility released 60, 000 gallons "disinfected primary effluent" for an hour May 29. There was also a 23-and-a-half-hour "combined sewer" discharge that day. Also on May 26 there was another five-hour "combined sewer" discharge in Hudson and a 1,420,000 gallon "disinfected primary effluent" discharge.
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