April 12, 2019

Clearwater Reacts to EPA’s Certification of Completion to General Electric

BEACON, NY – Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, partner environmental organizations, plus several NY State and Federal agencies have tried to make it clear that a more robust clean-up of the Hudson River is necessary to protect public health and safety and to allow the river to recover more quickly.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is belying its mission by issuing a Certificate of Completion and letting GE off the hook too soon, putting people and the environment at more risk.

“We agree with Scenic Hudson’s position, which is that EPA is required to respond to GE’s request for a Certificate of Completion (CoC), but not required to grant it,” said Greg Williams, Executive Director, The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. “GE’s having done what it agreed to do is a necessary but not sufficient condition for granting a CoC. And while granting a CoC wouldn’t prevent EPA from requiring more action from GE, it would severely constrain what EPA could do, and resign us to another half century wait before we can eat fish from the Hudson River”

Clearwater’s landmark study back in 1993 proved that people were eating PCB-contaminated Hudson River fish despite health advisories warning against fish consumption — including an “eat none” advisory for most species for women of childbearing age and children under 15, with very limited allowances for men and older women.  Some people are unaware of the warnings; others ignore them; but for many fishing is essential for their subsistence and others fish because it is part of the culture and lifestyle. Recent studies confirm this is still very much the case, in spite of the efforts of the NYS Department of Health and other to educate people about the dangers.  These studies indicate that communities of color, ethnicity and low income are disproportionately affected.

Please visit for more information and to become a Clearwater member.  Clearwater members receive discounts on sailing tickets and admission to the Clearwater Festival, updates on environmental action initiatives and many other benefits.

About Hudson River Sloop Clearwater

Launched in 1969 by legendary folk singer and activist Pete Seeger, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater has been at the forefront of the environmental movement as champions of the Hudson River. To date, more than half a million people have experienced their first real look at an estuary’s ecosystem aboard the sloop Clearwater.   Clearwater has become the grassroots model for producing positive changes to protect our planet. For more information, visit



Media Contact:
Erin Macchiaroli ext. 7101
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
724 Wolcott Avenue, Beacon, NY 12508