HomeWhat you can doPCB's in the HudsonGE SurvivorsGE Misdeeds

Over 1.3 million pounds of PCB's were dropped in the Hudson river by GE.

Contact: Gene Karpinski, USPIRG

EPA’s Expected Reversal on Hudson Cleanup Raises National Alarm

Environmental Groups Warn Of Further Rollbacks

Washington, DC, July 27, 2001 – Today leaders of the nation’s 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 question.

“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 can’t 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 PCB’s into the river. Recent reports indicate the EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman is considering abandoning the agency’s original plan for a pilot dredging project. Whitman is expected to make her final decision this week.

“This is Administrator Whitman’s 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 agency’s 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.

“GE’s 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 it’s becoming the Polluter Protection Agency.”