Clearwater Applauds GEʼs Agreement to Opt-In for Phase 2 Cleanup
GE informed the EPA that it would “opt-in” to complete Phase 2 of the Hudson River PCBs cleanup to remove more PCB-tainted sediment from the Hudson River in response to requirements recently set forward by the EPA.
According to the terms established in GEʼs 2006 settlement with EPA, GE will now be bound by a federal court order to finish the job it began in 2009. Recently GE pushed for increased capping, which would limit dredging.
This cleanup marks a victory for Clearwater and its partner organizations, as the Phase 2 cleanup process will involve thorough dredging protocols. Although Clearwater holds the position that the EPAʼs requirements are not as stringent as they could have been, this agreement marks a major turning point for the health of the Hudson River.
“This is a victory for those who care about the Hudson River,” said Jeff Rumpf, Clearwaterʼs executive director, “and this success will impact the whole world. The end result will be a much cleaner and healthier Hudson River that, down the road, will be swimmable and fishable.” “It is a bittersweet victory,” said Manna Jo Greene, Clearwaterʼs environmental director. “ In advocating for the river, we had hoped for less capping than EPA is allowing, but we heartily endorse most of the other.”
The Hudson River is the location of the nationʼs largest Superfund site. GE will submit its technical plan for Phase 2 and continue its dredging effort. Clearwater will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that the Hudson River receives the best possible cleanup and that GE meets the Phase 2 standards as set by the EPA.