Thursday, October 30, 2014

Another year of Hudson River cleanup draws to a close


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that next week the Hudson
River dredging will conclude for the year. Dredging is expected to continue in spring 2015. 

To date, about 2.5 million cubic yards of sediment contaminated with polychlorinated
(PCBs) have been removed. In 2014 approximately 575,000 cubic yards of
sediment were dredged from the bottom of the river, exceeding the
annual goal of 350,000
cubic yards.

The agency said that dredging will resume next spring when the Champlain Canal reopens 
for the season. The remaining dredge areas are expected to be completed next year. Habitat
planting and reconstruction will continue in 2016. The historic EPA-mandated cleanup, which 
began in 2009, targets approximately 2.65 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment from
a 40-mile stretch of the Upper Hudson River between Fort Edward and Troy, New York.

According to the EPA, For nearly thirty years, ending in the late 1970’s, an estimated 1.3 
million pounds of PCBs were discharged into the Hudson River from two General Electric 
Co. capacitor manufacturing plants located in Hudson Falls and Fort Edward, New York. 

PCBs are potentially cancer-causing chemicals that 
persist in the environment and can affect 
the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems. GE is conducting the cleanup work 
with EPA oversight under an agreement with the agency. 
According to GE, the company 
has invested more than $1 billion on the cleanup project to date.

Over the next several weeks, clean sand and gravel will be placed over previously dredged areas.
he dredged material remaining at GE’s de-watering and processing facility in Fort Edward will
be shipped by train to permitted out-of-state disposal facilities by the end of the year.

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