GE remains on the hook to clean up Housatonic River despite division plan
Larry Parnass is reporting for The Berkshire Eagle the General Electric Co. will change its structure beginning in 2023, but that decision will not release the company from its obligation to remove toxins from the Housatonic River. In the coming year, General Electric will decide how its corporate obligations will be divided, including the ordered cleanup in the Berkshires, linked to its former transformer manufacturing business in Pittsfield. On November 9, company officials announced a plan to split operations into three distinct companies, in the health care, aviation, and renewable energy and power sectors. A Boston-based spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency said this week that the Rest of River cleanup announced in February 2020, and finalized in December, would stay in effect, regardless of corporate reshuffling.. “GE remains fully committed to conducting a comprehensive cleanup of the Housatonic Rest of River that protects the environment and the community,” a GE spokesperson said. “... [The planned organizational] changes do not alter the fact that [the company] is obligated by a court settlement to deal with the aftermath of its long release of PCBs, a probable carcinogen, into the river and its flood plain," the spokesperson said. GE is expected to work in the coming year on which corporate obligations will be attached to which new entity. The Rest of River project is estimated to cost $576 million and be completed in more than 13 years. GE has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to deal with the pollution it left behind in the region. Read the full story in The Berkshire Eagle.