Final season of Hudson dredging for PCB-contaminated sediment begins
The dredging project began six years ago as part of a 2006 settlement with GE in response to two manufacturing plants that dumped more than 1.3 million pounds of PCBs into the river between 1947 and 1977, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. The company said it has already spent more than $1 billion on the cleanup.
“The massive amount of PCBs that have finally been removed from this treasured river is a tremendous accomplishment that will benefit the communities along the Hudson River for generations to come,” said Enck.
PCBs, which build up in fish and wildlife and are then consumed by people, are neurotoxins and can cause cancer and health issues relating to the brain, nervous system, endocrine system and reproductive system.
The dredging, which is one of the Superfund’s largest undertakings to date, has created roughly 500 jobs each year and runs 24 hours a day for six days a week from May to November. The cleanup will extend beyond this final season, as GE has agreed to test and restore the upper Hudson’s floodplains as well.