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GE could face monetary damages for PCBs in Hudson River

Apr 18, 2019 11:59 pm
Brian Nearing reports in the Albany Times Union that New York's Department of Environmental Conservation said April 17 that the DEC, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are close to a final damage assessment on General Electric's poisoning of the Hudson River with PCBs. That is "a necessary step prior to bringing any legal action" and may force GE to pay monetary damages that could fund restoration projects on the river. State and federal officials "will continue to assess the significant amount of PCBs left behind by the remedy to evaluate the impact these contaminants will have on fish, wildlife, and the public's use of these resources in the future." Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a report giving General Electric a “certificate of completion” for its work removing PCB contamination from the Hudson River. Gov. Andrew Cuomo then vowed to sue the EPA to rescind the completion finding. Previously, GE took seven years and spent $1.7 billion removing about 310,000 pounds of the PCB-tainted sediment, or 72 percent of what is now known to be in the river. The EPA previously said it would be at least 50 years before it is safe to eat fish from the Hudson River. GE spokesperson Mark Behan said the company's work is done. "In the 22 years since the process began, an unprecedented dredging project has been successfully completed and numerous studies have documented thriving, healthy, robust wildlife populations, including fish, frogs, turtles, bats, great blue heron, tree swallows, waterfowl and kingfishers," he said. Read the full story in the Albany Times Union.
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