Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, September 2006

Yet Another Delay in GE’s Cleanup of Hudson River PCBs

     On July 27, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Alan Steinberg released a surprise, one-paragraph statement that set a six-month delay in General Electric’s (GE) cleanup of PCBs or polychlorinated biphenyls) in the Hudson River.  Steinberg said, “We are now facing several obstacles beyond our control that make it unrealistic to begin dredging during the 2007 dredging season.”

     In response, COA sent a letter to EPA requesting the agency provide:

  • specific information on efforts undertaken by GE and EPA to date, 
  • the obstacles and issues that could not be overcome in time for the scheduled 2007 start date, and 
  • what is being done to eliminate these obstacles and ensure that the cleanup begins by 2008, if not sooner.

US Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-6) also sent a letter requesting a formal explanation for the delay.

     GE dumped approximately 1.3 million pounds of PCBs into the Hudson River, contaminating a 200-mile stretch from Hudson Falls to New York City.  The Hudson River was named a Superfund site in 1983, and PCBs remain in river sediments and wash downstream into NY Harbor. 

     These PCBs continue to threaten public health and prompt fish consumption advisories.  This past spring, NJDEP issued advisories for winter flounder (pictured) caught in Raritan Bay, which have been contaminated with PCBs originating in the Hudson River.

Comments Regarding Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station

     The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is accepting comments through September 8, 2006, on the Draft Generic Impact Statement for Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station’s license renewal.  To sign onto COA’s comments or to learn more about the ecological impacts of Oyster Creek, or for information to assist you in writing comments to MMS, review a position paper on COA’s website (“Issues and Campaigns”) or call COA at 732-872-0111.


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