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EPA gives GE stricter directions for cleaning PCBs from Hudson River

Dec 17, 2010 11:50 am
From WNYT:
The federal government tells General Electric to dig deeper, take better samples and cap less of the Hudson River bottom when it starts the second phase of PCB cleanup in the waterway next year. The Environmental Protection Agency says Friday the company must cap a maximum of 11 percent of the total project area, not counting rocky or other hard-to-reach areas. That compares with 22 percent allowed in the first phase completed last year. Environmentalists worried that EPA would allow up to 24 percent to be capped, in which PCBs are left in the river and covered over. The EPA also says GE must take better samples to determine the extent of pollution. The agency found poor sampling meant dredgers didn't go deep enough the first time around.

The Times-Union's more complete story hours later includes this exchange:
"This is not going to be negotiated. There is no more opportunity to compromise," Judith Enck, an EPA regional administrator, said in a conference call with reporters....

"The statement about GE asking for a delay is flatly false," said Mark Behan, a GE spokesman. "As for her (Enck) combative rhetoric, it's unfortunate. We've had a constructive relationship with EPA during technical meetings this fall and we anticipate we'll continue with phase two of dredging if it reflects our understanding with EPA, if it's based on sound science and it can be achieved in the challenging conditions of the upper Hudson."