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Hudson Dredging Resumes in May

By Dave Lucas


Fort Edward, NY – The second round of dredging in a stretch of the upper Hudson River from Fort Edward to Troy is about to get underway... Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

General Electric Co. has awarded a dredging contract for the Hudson River clean-up to Cashman Dredging & Marine Contracting Co. LLC, the group that did the work during the cleanup's test phase in 2009. GE Spokesman Mark Behan says dredging is scheduled to begin next month. About 2.4 million cubic yards of sediment laden with potentially cancer-causing PCB's are slated to be removed from the riverbed by the end of the project. (You can follow the dredging activities here.)

When a seven-member panel of scientists reviewed the results of the first phase of dredging, they determined the re-suspension of PCBs was an issue. The Environmental Protection Agency then revised project standards and stretched the time frame for dredging from five years to seven years. Jane Havens is an officer of CEASE - Citizen Environmentalists Against Sludge Encapsulation - which has been keeping an eye on the progression of dredging - she is concerned the EPA has relaxed some of the standards for the next phase of dredging... EPA spokesman Dave King says "relaxation really isn't the right word" - water standards were changed since two local municipalities will not likely be drawing drinking water from the Hudson. The EPA says the second phase work will dig deeper into the sediment and, by relying on better information and lessons learned during the first phase, will remove more contaminated sediment with fewer dredge passes.

According to CEASE, GE will be holding a public informational session on the next phase of dredging Thursday April 14th at the Ft. Edward Fire House from 7 to 9pm.