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EPA Issues GE Certificate Of Completion For Hudson River Remedial Action

The Hudson River
Jim Levulis

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a “Certification of Completion of the Remedial Action” to General Electric for the company’s cleanup of PCBs in the upper Hudson River.

“This is the second certificate in a series of three – the first was issued in 2012 and the third is not expected to be available to GE for more than five decades,” EPA wrote in a press release. “Consequently, the third certificate, the “Certification of Completion of the Work” is not being contemplated and is not a part of today’s announcement.”

Thursday morning, the federal agency also deferred a determination of the protectiveness of the remedy until more years of fish tissue data is gathered.

State environmental officials in New York had asked EPA to hold off on issuing a Certificate of Completion for GE’s work to remove toxic PCBs from a 40-mile stretch of the Hudson from Fort Edward to Troy. The state has concluded in its own report that the cleanup isn’t finished. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos told WAMC this week that the state would sue if EPA deemed the cleanup complete without further remediation. Late Thursday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Letitia James reinforced that New York State does intend to sue the EPA.  

In issuing the EPA’s five-year review of the cleanup Thursday, Regional Administrator Pete Lopez said “no person or organization will be let off the hook for the contamination of this historic and valuable waterway.”

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