GE must do more to clean Hudson River -U.S. agency

* Second phase of cleanup due to start in May

* Company has until Jan. 14 to review the decision

* GE dumped tons of PCBs into the river until 1977

By Bernard Orr

NEW YORK, Dec 17 (BestGrowthStock) – The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency on Friday ordered General Electric Co (GE.N: )
to dredge deeper into the Hudson River as part of the next
phase of an effort to remove cancer-causing chemicals dumped
into the river over decades.

GE, the largest U.S. conglomerate, also must remove more
contaminated sediment instead of capping and sealing the river
bottom to get rid of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

The company has until Jan. 14 to review the decision and
notify the agency about how they plan to best proceed with the
next phase of the cleanup, which is due to begin in May.

“We’ve said from the start that a clean Hudson is
non-negotiable, and the path we have laid out today relies on
the best science to ensure this dangerous pollution is
addressed in an effective way,” regional EPA administrator
Judith Enck told reporters.

The EPA found that GE plants at Fort Edward and Hudson
Falls, both in New York, discharged about 1.3 million pounds
(590,000 kg) of PCBs during a 30-year period ending in 1977,
when GE stopped using them as an insulator in electric
components.

PCBs are human carcinogens and can also affect the immune,
reproductive, nervous, and endocrine systems. One of the
project’s main goals is to achieve significant reduction in PCB
levels in fish tissue.

The project addresses a 40-mile (64-km) stretch of the
upper Hudson River from Hudson Falls to Troy, about 150 miles
(240 km) north of New York City.

GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt declined to comment on the
cost of the work in comments to reporters this week but said
the company was close to a deal on financing the river’s future
cleanup.

“We’re going to really take the dredging of the Hudson off
the table for future years,” Immelt told reporters on Tuesday.
“It’s to complete the project.”
(Additional reporting by Scott Malone in Boston; Editing by
Daniel Trotta and Xavier Briand)

GE must do more to clean Hudson River -U.S. agency