NEW YORK – State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), ranking member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, released the following statement today applauding the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reevaluate the effectiveness of General Electric’s (GE) six-year dredging operation to remove nearly 30 years worth of dangerous PCB chemicals it dumped into the Hudson River.
“I’m extremely grateful to the Cuomo Administration and DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos for demanding the EPA reevaluate General Electric’s efforts to remediate years of PCB contamination in the Hudson River. For more than a year, I, along with other elected officials and environmental advocacy groups, have sounded the alarm about GE’s insufficient cleanup of PCBs in the Hudson River, which is estimated to be only 65 percent complete.
“The polluter must pay. GE treated the Hudson River like its own personal dumping ground for decades. It’s essential that the EPA respond to the concerns raised today by New York State and force GE to finish their cleanup of the Hudson River.”
For more than three decades General Electric knowingly dumped millions of pounds of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, into the Hudson River. As a direct result of PCB contamination -- which has been linked to cancer, low birth weight, and thyroid disease – the EPA classified parts of the Hudson as a Superfund site and mandated GE remediate the river. However, even after completing the terms of its settlement agreement with the EPA, reports indicate that GE removed only 65% of PCBs. Consequently, Senator Hoylman has continued to call on GE to complete the cleanup including writing letters to GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt and Governor Andrew Cuomo, publishing an op-ed in the Albany Times-Union, submitting testimony to the EPA, holding a public forum on the health of the Hudson River, and urging the Hudson River’s federal trustees to join the call.