Com­mu­nity group meets amid re­view of Hud­son River dredg­ing cleanup

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - STATE NEWS -

A com­mu­nity group is set to get an up­date re­gard­ing the fed­eral Su­per­fund project to clean up the Hud­son River.

The En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency is cur­rently re­view­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of a six-year project by Gen­eral Elec­tric to dredge 2.75 mil­lion cu­bic yards of PCB­con­tam­i­nated sed­i­ment from the up­per river.

A com­mu­nity ad­vi­sory group is sched­uled to hear the lat­est on the EPA re­view at its reg­u­larly sched­uled meet­ing on Thurs­day in Saratoga Springs. The re­view is to be com­pleted by April 2107.

Dredg­ing op­er­a­tions that have cost Gen­eral Elec­tric $1.5 bil­lion to clean chem­i­cals from the up­per Hud­son River ended, but some ad­vo­cates are push­ing for an­other round.

Ad­vo­cates cite an anal­y­sis that con­cluded the river will take far longer to re­cover due to greater PCB con­tam­i­na­tion than ini­tially ex­pected. They say EPA should call for more dredg­ing un­der pro­vi­sions in the le­gal set­tle­ment that gives the agency that right if new in­for­ma­tion shows the cleanup is fail­ing to pro­tect hu­man health and the en­vi­ron­ment.

GE main­tains that it con­tin­ues to ful­fill all of its obli­ga­tions.

Un­til the mid 1970s, GE plants dis­charged into the river more than 1 mil­lion pounds of poly­chlo­ri­nated biphenyls, which are con­sid­ered a prob­a­ble car­cino­gen. A 200-mile stretch of river down to New York City be­came a Su­per­fund site in 1984. But the EPA didn’t call for dredg­ing un­til 2002, after years of dis­pute over whether it would be ef­fec­tive.

MIKE GROLL — AP FILE

In this file photo, crews per­form dredg­ing work along the up­per Hud­son River in Water­ford. Long after the last dredg­ing barge leaves the up­per Hud­son River, sci­en­tists will track the slow fade in con­tam­i­na­tion lev­els.

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