EPA tells GE to revise Hudson River dredging methods

U.S. EPA is requiring that General Electric Co. be more efficient in dredging the upper Hudson River in New York, according to rules released today for a second cleanup phase of the former dump site for the company's factories.

A 2002 EPA order, which GE lost a challenge to in court in 2009, requires that the company dredge polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and other pollutants from the river to clean up from dumping that its factories did from the 1940s to the 1970s. During this time, GE discharged 1.3 million pounds of PCBs into the river, according to EPA.

GE's dredging was temporarily suspended in August 2009 because tests showed that PCB levels in the river were above EPA standards. According to EPA, the company's many dredging passes that year allowed exposed sediments to return to the river.

In the new rules, GE must update its sampling and dredging methods and constantly evaluate data. The company must adjust its activities as needed to "ensure that the momentum of the cleanup work in the river continues and that the biggest sources of ongoing contamination are addressed," according to an EPA statement (Jim Efstathiou Jr., Bloomberg, Dec. 17). -- AP

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