GE announced today that it will perform the Phase 2 cleanup as recently set forward by the EPA. Although the EPA’s requirements were not as strong as they could have been, this agreement will mark a major turning point for the Hudson River on several fronts:
The largest superfund site in the nation will finally get a cleanup after thirty-plus years of delay and, while far from perfect, this is a cleanup that will produce a much cleaner and healthier Hudson.
Five hundred pounds per year of PCBs have been coming down the Hudson, helping to ruin our fisheries and other aspects of the river’s health. The project is expected to take 5-7 years, after that, the river’s recovery will pick up steam. While GE and others pushed for large scale capping and limited [one-pass] dredging, this cleanup will remain one that principally depends on a thorough dredging regime.
This large scale, historic cleanup will help assure that future industrialization follows sound practices for reducing and managing hazardous wastes, so we don’t have another case like this in 30 years.
We’ll continue to aggressively monitor the project to ensure no further backsliding and the best possible outcome for the Hudson and its communities, starting this February when GE submits its technical plan for this new dredging work.
To put it most simply, this cleanup finally puts New Yorkers on course to get their river back!