The dispute over whether PCBs have been properly cleaned from the upper Hudson River will be back in the public eye Wednesday, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency holds a public meeting at the Saratoga Hilton.
The meeting, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., will be to take public comment on the EPA’s current five-year review of the Hudson River Superfund site.
A $1.7 billion dredging project funded by General Electric ended in 2015, and a draft of the five-year review released earlier this year found that while PCB levels in fish are still high, the dredging has worked as intended — and the contamination levels in the river and in fish will drop over the next several decades.
A number of environmental groups, however, say that too many PCBs remain in the river, and more dredging should be done, and they’re expected to speak out on Wednesday, as they did at a similar EPA meeting last month in Poughkeepsie. The state Department of Environmental Conservation also says the dredging has failed to protect public health, and more cleanup work needs to be done
“Enough public outcry could force the agency to acknowledge the excess pollution discovered in the river rather than acting like it doesn’t exist,” the Poughkeepsie-based group Scenic Hudson said in a statement.
The PCBs — or polychlorinated biphenyls — are a suspected carcinogen that GE used at its capacitor plants in Hudson Falls and Fort Edward between 1946 and 1977, and discharged into the river. It was legal at the time.
The legally mandated five-year review concluded that no additional dredging is needed, and any additional dredging would only…
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