GE informed EPA today that it will “opt-in” to complete Phase 2 of the Hudson River PCBs cleanup to remove more PCB-tainted sediment from the Hudson River in response to requirements recently set forward by the EPA. According to the terms established in GE’s 2006 settlement with EPA, GE will now be bound by a federal court order to finish the job it began in 2009. Recently GE pushed for increased capping, which would limit dredging. This cleanup marks a victory for Clearwater and its partner organizations, as the Phase 2 cleanup process will involve thorough dredging protocols. Although Clearwater holds the position that the EPA’s requirements are not as stringent as they could have been, this agreement marks a major turning point for the health of the Hudson River.
“This is a victory for those who care about the Hudson River,” said Jeff Rumpf, Clearwater’s executive director, “and this success will impact the whole world. We have a saying at Clearwater, ‘If the people lead, corporations will follow.’ Clearwater would like to thank the thousands of people who spoke up for what ultimately resulted in the decision made by GE today. Although the EPA standards do not call for an ideal scenario, our next generation will thank us. The end result will be a much cleaner and healthier Hudson River that, down the road, will be swimmable and fishable.”
“It is a bittersweet victory,” said Manna Jo Greene, Clearwater’s environmental director. “ In advocating for the river, we had hoped for less capping than EPA is allowing, but we heartily endorse most of the other standards that have been set for Phase 2 and are very grateful that the cleanup will proceed in the new year.”
The Hudson River is the location of the nation’s largest Superfund site. This February GE will submit its technical plan for Phase 2 and continue its dredging effort. Clearwater will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that the Hudson River receives the best possible cleanup, and that GE meets the Phase 2 standards as set by the EPA.
To view the official GE statement, please click here