In what it calls one of the largest environmental cleanup projects undertaken in the US, General Electric has completed dredging in New York’s Upper Hudson River. Since 2009, GE’s crews removed more than 300,000 pounds of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the river — more than twice as much as had been anticipated.
Dredging took place over a 40-mile stretch of the Upper Hudson River between Fort Edward, New York and Troy, New York. The chemical cleanup work was performed 24 hours a day, six days a week, for six months of the year for six years. GE invested more than $1 billion to complete the project. More than 500 people were employed.
Although dredging is now completed, GE says its environmental cleanup work on and along the Hudson River will continue. GE will restore under-water vegetation to areas of the river that have been dredged and will monitor environmental conditions in the river for the foreseeable future. The data will be used to assess the benefits of the dredging project.
GE also will continue the cleanups of its Hudson Falls and Fort Edward plant sites — cleanups that already have eliminated the sites as significant sources of PCBs to the river — and will continue a comprehensive evaluation of the floodplains along the river shorelines.
In September, the EPA has made a plan available for public review that outlines how GE will dismantle and decontaminate its 110-acre sediment processing facility that was built to support the dredging of the Hudson River PCBs superfund site. Some 200 miles of the Hudson River, contaminated by hazardous waste, is classified by EPA as a Superfund site, making it one of the largest in the US.