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Hudson Valley residents: Your community can help press GE for a full cleanup of PCBs

With General Electric slated to complete its remediation of PCBs in the Hudson River and pull up shop by as early as mid-summer 2015, now is the critical time for the future economic and environmental health of our communities.

GE needs to step up to ensure a cleaner river sooner by cleaning up the navigation channel and the 136-acres of additional “hot spots,” both of which have been cited as preventing future recreational and commercial economic development on the Hudson River.

At our Hudson River PCB Forum at Marist College last month, Riverkeeper, along with Clearwater, NRDC, and Scenic Hudson, proposed a Sample Municipal Resolution calling on GE do to the following before it leaves the River:

(1) Dredge all areas of PCB-contaminated sediments in River Sections 2 and 3 that would require cleanup under the applicable-standards in River Section 1, including, at minimum, the 136 acres identified by the federal Trustees;

(2) Conduct any additional necessary removal of soils and sediments in PCB-contaminated “hot spots” in and around the Upper Hudson River, including cleanup of the Champlain Canal to ensure full use of the canal by deep draft shipping vessels; and

(3) Complete a thorough analysis and robust cleanup of the Hudson River, such as the floodplains and the Old Champlain Canal, in order to restore the River to its full health and value as a natural and economic resource.

As the Hudson Riverkeeper Paul Gallay made clear at the PCB Forum:

“We have a lot at stake. The integrity of this cleanup is at risk if we don’t put the final piece of the puzzle in place. We have the will, we have the savvy, and it’s just a question of not losing resolve. Everyone here has to push the municipal resolution in their communities, has to push to keep GE in water, complete the restoration dredging of 136 acres, fix the floodplains, restore the navigational channel in the Canal. We can do this, we just have to go all in. Let’s go all in and get this damn thing done.”

We know that EPA won’t force GE to do this necessary dredging to ensure the recovery of the River and the river-based economy and tourism industry along the entire Hudson River is not jeopardized. And GE incredulously continues to dismiss its legal responsibility for any Natural Resource Damages.

It’s up to all of us to push GE to do the right thing and ensure that the integrity of the cleanup we fought decades to get is not put at risk. And now is the critical time! Otherwise, the taxpayers and toll-payers of New York may be left holding the bill.

It’s One River, One Cleanup – we’re all in this together from Hudson Falls to the Battery at NYC!

Please download a copy of the “Sample Municipal Resolution Regarding the Removal of PCBs from the Hudson River,” and ask your local governing body to pass the resolution.

For further information on the Sample Municipal Resolution, please contact Manna Jo Greene at Hudson River Sloop Clearwater: [email protected] or (845) 265-8080, ext. 7113.

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