Decision on Fate of the Hudson Pending

Protect. Prevail. Prosper.

A healthier future for the Hudson depends on the EPA relying on good science and decisive oversight to direct its actions on the PCB cleanup.

The Hudson River PCB cleanup being overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t done the job it was meant to do—secure the health of the river, its wildlife and the people living along it. PCB toxins in the river remain a significant threat to public health and prosperity—as they have for nearly 80 years.

While we await the EPA’s determination about the effectiveness of the cleanup to date, we continue to see overwhelming public support for a cleaner, healthier river.

UPDATES

  • Work undone: Significant contamination remains in the upper Hudson according to a new scientific analysis commissioned by Scenic Hudson. Also, dredged areas have become recontaminated.
  • Finishing the job means more jobs: NY’s leading voice for the building industry agrees more cleanup will spur the economy.
  • Popular demand: Residents of the 19th Congressional District who responded to a poll we commissioned strongly back continuing the cleanup.
  • Guardians of the river agree: The three federal and state agencies tasked with overseeing the river’s restoration say dredging should resume.
  • Gov. Cuomo’s on board: He says he’ll sue the federal government if the EPA determines the cleanup is “protective” of human health and the environment.
  • A promise made: EPA Region 2 Administrator Pete Lopez says he’s committed to investigating strategies for removing PCBs from the lower Hudson.
  • A definite need: A review by NY’s Department of Environmental Conservation shows PCB levels downriver haven’t benefited at all from upriver dredging.

Scenic Hudson and other environmental organizations, a bipartisan group of federal and state elected representatives, business and chamber of commerce leaders—and thousands of concerned citizens—have united in calling for additional PCB cleanup.

The fight isn’t over! Your continued engagement is critical to get the PCB cleanup that we and future generations deserve—and the EPA promised.

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Contamination remaining in the river is “equivalent to a series of Superfund Sites being left behind.”
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: “Additional PCB removal…will facilitate the ecological and economic recovery of the Hudson River.”
  • NYS DEC: “The Remedy is not protective of human health and the environment…and EPA should undertake all necessary actions to ensure that [it] becomes fully protective to the benefit of the people of New York State.”

BACKGROUND

  • For over 30 years—from the 1940s to the 1970s—General Electric discharged an unknown amount of PCB-laced waste into the Hudson River from its capacitor manufacturing plants in upstate Hudson Falls and Fort Edward. These toxins have accumulated in the land, river sediment and food web all along the river, turning the Hudson into the largest Superfund site in America—stretching 200 miles to New York Harbor. Scenic Hudson and our partners have fought to get GE to take responsibility for this toxic disaster (with pollution estimated in the billions of pounds) and restore the river and communities along it to their full health.
  • After six years of dredging (2009-2015), the EPA allowed GE to dismantle its on-river operation, abandoning the remaining toxic river sediments that federal, state and local agencies warn could set back economic and environmental recovery for decades. Supported by community partners and our dedicated members, Scenic Hudson remains present at every stage of this historic remediation and continues to press for the most comprehensive cleanup possible.

LEARN MORE

Huffington Post blog

Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan links poisoned-water disasters in the news with a botched cleanup of toxic Hudson River PCBs.

Watch this short film on EPA's Five Year Review Workshop by renowned filmmaker Jon Bowermaster and his mini-documentary about the threats posed by PCBs remaining in the river.

Read this recent press coverage of the issue:

Coalition Partners

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