July 24, 2009. Since the commencement of the dredging on May 15, over 57,000 cubic yards of river sediment have been removed from the Hudson River around Rogers Island in Fort Edward, NY, and in the east bank of the river near Griffin Island. And, so far, EPA and GE are reporting no violations of Performance Standards for the resuspension of PCBs (500 parts per trillion, which is the EPA drinking water standard). Due to Riverkeeper concerns about GE’s full commitment to this remediation, at the July 16 EPA – Community Advisory Group meeting, Riverkeeper Senior Counsel, Rebecca Troutman submitted two questions to EPA and GE representatives:
(1) Has there been any indication from the data gathered so far, as to whether GE would refuse to perform Phase 2 of the clean-up? (The 2006 Consent Decree gives GE the choice to opt out of performing Phase 2, which represents approximately 90% of the remediation — legal battles would then ensue). EPA’s project director King responded that he did not see any such indication from the information gathered so far, and that he expects GE to respond definitively on that issue by August 1, 2010. GE’s representative, operations manager Tim Kruppenbacher, answered that it was too early to tell and that GE would be studying “contributions” and “efficiencies”; and,
(2) Has the “full production rate” of dredging been achieved? Although these early dredging operations have proceeded cautiously, EPA’s King reported that the “full production rate” has been achieved on a few occasions.