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The Future of the Hudson–American Heritage River or Superfund site?


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We are at a turning point for a cleaner, healthier Hudson River. More than 70 years ago, the General Electric Company started dumping toxic PCBs into the river—a practice the company continued for decades—and turned the Hudson River into a polluted Superfund site for 200 miles from its northern reaches to New York Harbor.

GE is required to clean up the most heavily polluted areas in the upper river, and they’re almost finished with this remedial dredging. But the company is threatening to pull up stakes and end its high-tech, world-class dredging operation at the end of this summer (2015).

If they pack up shop without addressing the remaining PCBs, GE will leave behind the equivalent of a series of Superfund-caliber sites in the upper river. Recovery of the Hudson River may go from a goal achievable within our lifetimes to a problem that our great grandchildren will be dealing with.

These are the facts:

  • The remaining PCBs are dangerous. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl) are man-made toxic chemicals that cause a range of harmful health effects, including cancer, eye lesions, and developmental disorders in children.
  • GE put these dangerous PCBs in the Hudson, and should get them out. New York’s taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for GE’s toxic mess. We’ve already paid enough from the loss of the river’s fishing industry (shut down in 1976 because of PCBs), commercial navigation, and tourism along the river.
  • GE should give the Hudson an A-grade cleanup.  In school 65% is generally considered a “D” grade. GE may think that’s good enough to pass, but the Hudson and our communities deserve better.
  • GE is liable for restoring the Hudson River’s health and economy.As part of the Natural Resources Damages Act, GE is legally responsible for restoring the decades-long injury to the Hudson River – including injuries to the Champlain Canal navigation channel and our inability to eat Hudson River fish.

Tell GE and our state and federal leaders to finish the job and restore the legacy of a cleaner Hudson River for future generations. Sign our online petition, volunteer and speak out!

campaign-for-cleaner-hudosnThe Campaign for a Cleaner Hudson is a coalition of individuals and organizations with a common goal: The continued dredging by General Electric of the PCBs it dumped into the Hudson for decades. The Steering Committee consists of Clearwater, NRDC, Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson.

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