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GE Loses Superfund Challenge

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Photo Credit: Sabrina Wells
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Ruling upholds EPA’s authority to Order Cleanups of Superfund Sites

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington rejected GE’s argument that the EPA’s unilateral authority to order pollution cleanups under the Superfund law is unconstitutional and results in Due Process violations. GE filed this lawsuit in 2000, which could have interfered with the government’s ability to get hundreds of necessary cleanups done, before EPA ruled that the company had to perform dredging to clean up the highly toxic PCBs which GE dumped into the Hudson.

Riverkeeper, NRDC and Hudson River Sloop Clearwater submitted a legal brief in support of the EPA in the case and have been part of a coalition of environmental groups heavily involved in the review of the cleanup progress since it began last year. GE is also currently in disagreement with the EPA on how to proceed, with the next phase of the dredging due to start next spring.

The ruling upholds EPA’s authority in Superfund cleanups nationwide and will serve as additional leverage for the agency to require GE to finish the job of cleaning up the Hudson without additional litigation.

Read the decision

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