EPA will hold public session on Hudson River PCB cleanup

Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand last week cheered an upcoming public meeting on the status of removal of toxic PCBs from the upper Hudson River as another opportunity to hear and question officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, which is in charge of the cleanup.

The two-hour session will take place at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, beginning at 6 p.m. It will be held in room L63 of the New Building, at 524 W. 59th St.

“New York City residents deserve to know about the status of the cleanup efforts at the Hudson River Superfund Site and be able to offer their views,” Schumer said in a hearing announcement. “I’m pleased that the EPA heeded our call and scheduled a public meeting in New York City so that communities along the Lower Hudson River can hear directly from the EPA on this proposed report.”

Gillbrand, a fellow Democrat, said: “It is vital that local residents, community and environmental organizations, business leaders, state, and federal agencies and all other stakeholders have the opportunity to fully review and evaluate the results, and make their voices heard. It is essential that those who are most directly impacted have a sufficient opportunity to review and respond to the EPA report.”

The EPA has already held information sessions in Poughkeepsie and Saratoga Springs about its latest status report. Democrats and environmental groups have harshly criticized its determination that no further cleanup was needed after an epic dredging project to remove PCBs that General Electric and other manufacturers dumped in the river decades ago. “This decision is awful news for the Capital Region, the Hudson Valley, and all of the families who live near the Hudson River,” Gillibrand said in June.

The report is available online at www.epa.gov/hudson. The cleanup took place from 2009 to 2015 and entailed dredging PCB-contaminated sediment for 40 miles of the Upper Hudson, from Fort Edward to Troy. About 310,000 pounds of PCBs were removed. The next phase of work is to test the soil in adjacent floodplains for PCBs. Critics contend significant PCB contamination remains and threatens public health and the environment.


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