FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gene Karpinski, USPIRG
EPAs Expected Reversal on Hudson Cleanup Raises National Alarm
Environmental Groups Warn Of Further Rollbacks
Washington, DC, July 27, 2001 Today leaders of the nations
major environmental organizations warned that any EPA decision to
back down from its original Hudson River cleanup plan would throw
the future of other Superfund sites around the country into serious
If the EPA abandons the Hudson, it sends a chilling message
to communities currently fighting to clean up their local toxic
sites, said Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club.
If Americans cant depend on the Environmental Protection
Agency to protect our environment, who can we count on?
Last December, after 15 years of study, the EPA recommended dredging
40 toxic hot spots in the Hudson River. They also announced that
the cleanup should be funded by General Electric which has admitted
responsibility for dumping 1.3 million pounds of PCBs into
the river. Recent reports indicate the EPA Administrator Christine
Todd Whitman is considering abandoning the agencys original
plan for a pilot dredging project. Whitman is expected to make her
final decision this week.
This is Administrator Whitmans first real test on a
crucial clean water issue and a litmus test for her treatment of
other rivers that are Superfund sites, said Frances Beinecke,
Executive Director of NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council).
Will she support her own agencys recommendation
one based on sound science and more than a decade of review
or cave in to General Electric and other powerful corporations?
GE is currently negotiating cleanup costs for 87 additional Superfund
sites across the country. To date, it has spent a reported $15 million
on a public relations campaign against the Hudson River cleanup
plan and has launched a massive lobbying effort in Washington, D.C.
GEs money and influence appear to have convinced the
EPA that its first obligation is to big business, Gene Karpinski,
Executive Director of US Public Interest Research Group. Given
its string of anti-environmental decisions under the Bush administration,
the EPA looks like its becoming the Polluter Protection Agency.