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Pete Lopez, Executive Director of Policy, Advocacy and Science

Long-awaited EPA report on toxic PCB cleanup of Hudson River is dangerously wrong, overlooks scientific evidence

— Public comments needed now —

Photo: Jeff Mertz / Courtesy of Scenic Hudson


EPA has failed to acknowledge the scientific data regarding the Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site and — once again — refused to admit the cleanup of toxic PCBs has not been effective.


In the agency’s draft Third Five-Year Review (FYR), released today, EPA claimed the cleanup “shows progress” but there is a “need for more data.” Nonsense, says Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan. “The science is crystal clear. EPA’s cleanup remedy has failed.”

EPA claims to need more time. But it was almost 75 years ago that General Electric began dumping PCBs into the river, which was declared a toxic Superfund site 40 years ago. “EPA keeps moving the goalposts,” says Pete Lopez, Scenic Hudson’s Executive Director of Policy, Advocacy and Science, noting that the dredging remedy, performed by GE and overseen by EPA, was completed in 2015. “They could make the ‘not protective’ determination right now — they don’t need more time; they’ve had more than eight years!”

A 90-Day Public Comment period is open until Oct. 8, 2024. Scenic Hudson and other environmental groups urge concerned citizens to contact EPA and demand it reverse this decision and declare the remedy “not protective of human health and the environment.”


Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan: 

“The science is crystal clear: the ‘remedy’ has failed. With this misguided ruling, EPA is not only abdicating its legal and ethical responsibilities but it damages the integrity of the entire federal Superfund program. Scenic Hudson has been fighting for a clean river for decades — and we won’t stop until EPA acknowledges its remedy has failed and the agency commits itself to additional cleanup. We urge all New Yorkers to also contact EPA to demand a cleaner Hudson River now.”

Pete Lopez, Scenic Hudson’s Executive Director of Policy, Advocacy and Science, as well as the former Region 2 administrator of EPA (from 2017 to 2021):

“This is environmental injustice — pure and simple; PCB pollution disproportionately affects overburdened communities who depend on the Hudson River’s PCB-laden fish to feed their families. If EPA would admit that the remedy has not been protective of human health and the environment, it could move forward with a new approach that would reduce PCBs as rapidly as possible. By continuing to turn a blind eye, EPA is setting a dangerous precedent and sending the wrong message to polluters nationwide.”

“It’s been decades since GE polluted the river with toxic PCBs — and we still can’t eat the fish. Enough is enough! This report is nothing but smoke and mirrors. EPA is failing to meet its mandate of protecting public health and the environment.”


Environmental experts and advocates are available for immediate phone, radio, and TV interviews to provide commentary on this legacy campaign to clean up one of the nation’s oldest and largest Superfund sites. 


• Read the joint press release from Friends of a Clean Hudson.

• Read EPA’s recent press release on the latest Five-Year Report here.

• Read the Executive Summary of the Friends of the Clean Hudson scientific report on the PCB cleanup.

• Read a press release from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who held a press conference in February demanding EPA take action now.

• Read a powerful Op-Ed in the Albany Times Union by Pete Lopez and the Adirondack Council’s Aaron Mair regarding EPA’s inaction here.

• Learn how the public can get involved in the fight to clean up the Hudson River here.