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Hudson River PCB 5-Year Review Public Workshop

General Electric agrees to revisit scope of PCB Cleanup on Upper Hudson.
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October 13, 2016: 4:00PM to 6:00PM
The Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home Multipurpose Rooms B and C, 4097 Albany Post Road Hyde Park, NY 12538 map

On Thursday, October 13, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold a public workshop to discuss the progress of the second five year review for the Hudson River PCBs Superfund site. Representatives from a number of state and federal agencies (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Department of Health, New York State Canal Corporation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. National Park Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), and the site’s Community Advisory Group will be present. This is the second in a series of workshops that are being held to involve the public during the five-year review process for the Hudson River PCBs Superfund site.

We encourage you to join us on October 13 in Hyde Park to learn more about the Five Year Review process for the Hudson River, and to voice any concerns you may have about the failure of the PCB cleanup by GE to protect us and our River.

The cleanup began in 2009 and required GE to remove 2.65 million pounds of PCBs from the 40 miles of the Upper Hudson River above the Federal Dam at Troy. By dredging some of the “source” PCBs from this area, EPA predicted that PCB levels in fish would go down so that we can once again eat the fish of the Hudson River. There was no slated PCB removal from the Lower Hudson River as part of this cleanup effort. GE completed this dredging last year, but the cleanup is anything but a success, as EPA and GE are claiming.

Due to the presence of “Superfund-caliber” PCB hotspots remaining in the Upper Hudson River coupled with NOAA’s recent analysis the the fish in the Lower Hudson River will remain more contaminated for longer and the failure of the fish consumption advisories, it is clear that GE’s cleanup of the Hudson River is not protective of human health and the environment.

Even though EPA has allowed GE to leave the river after completing its dredging of the PCBs in the Hudson River, because the EPA allowed GE to leave PCBs behind in the river, the agency must review the cleanup every five years. Called the “Five Year Review,” it requires EPA to evaluate the performance of the cleanup in meeting the stated goals to “determine if the remedy is or will be protective of human health and the environment.”

In 2012, EPA undertook a Five Year Review, but that review was woefully inadequate both from a technical and public inclusion perspective. This time, EPA has promised a “transparent and open” process. As such, EPA is holding a public workshop to present a public summary of the Five Year Review team (of which Riverkeeper is a member), the technical meetings held to-date, and the next steps moving forward in the process.

Learn more about the need for immediate action to continue cleanup of PCBs in the Hudson River.

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