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GE Agrees to Analyze Risks from Additional Hudson River PCBs


General Electric has agreed to analyze its potential liability in relation to recently-discovered PCBs in the upper Hudson River. GE will soon resume its remediation of PCBs it discharged into the Hudson decades ago, and at least one environmental group hopes the company will incorporate the additional dredging this year.

Mark Johnson is a spokesman for New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. He says the comptroller withdrew a shareholder resolution because of the agreement that General Electric will prepare an analysis of the recently discovered PCBs in the upper Hudson River. The state retirement fund is a major shareholder of GE stock.

He mentioned the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, which mandates that parties responsible for the release or potential release of hazardous substances are liable for any remedy deemed necessary, and the broad range of damages that may result. State Comptroller DiNapoli praises GE for agreeing to explore the benefits of additional dredging.

Here’s GE Spokesman Mark Behan.

Ned Sullivan is the president of Poughkeepsie-based Scenic Hudson, a non-profit environmental group. He says the recently-discovered PCBs are near the PCBs that GE will be cleaning up over the next three years.

The GE analysis is to be completed by the end of the year, though Sullivan says he hopes the analysis is ready much sooner, to coincide with the next phase of the cleanup.

And here’s GE’s Mark Behan on the next phase of the cleanup.

He points out that the Environmental Protection Agency is not requiring GE to add to its remediation efforts. Scenic Hudson’s Sullivan adds:

In 2009, General Electric started the remediation of more than 1.3 million pounds of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, it discharged into the Hudson River decades ago, from two manufacturing plants in the towns of Fort Edward and Hudson Falls. The cleanup is along 40 miles of the upper portion of the river, between Fort Edward and the Troy Dam.

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