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Schumer, Gillibrand don't want GE's Hudson River cleanup to end now

Feb 06, 2019 12:15 am
Brian Nearing reports in the Albany Times Union both New York senators asked the Environmental Protection Agency to not give General Electric a "certificate of completion" for cleaning toxic chemicals from the Hudson River. The EPA is currently reviewing whether the dredging work between Troy and Fort Edward satisfies a 2002 agreement between the EPA and GE. The company ended their efforts in the fall of 2015 after seven years and $1.7 billion were spent on the efforts. In the previous century, GE dumped polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, into the river. "We believe that the issuance of a certificate of completion under those conditions is premature and could result in continued harm to the health of the Hudson River and its ecosystems. Instead, we urge the EPA to engage with GE and New York state to continue the PCB clean-up process," Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand wrote in a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. The EPA previously said it would be at least 50 years before it is safe to eat fish from the Hudson River. While scientists mostly disagree, General Electric says their job is done. GE spokesman Mark Behan said, "The data show conclusively that the Hudson River dredging project is working and will protect the environment as EPA predicted. New York state's research affirmed that 99.8 percent of the sediment samples collected from the upper Hudson achieved the standards set by the EPA." Read the full story in the Times Union.