U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
“The Hudson River PCB Superfund dredging project has been a success ... This project is the most extensive dredging project undertaken in the nation, and its success is a historic achievement for the recovery of the Hudson River.”

Major Shoreline Study Underway

GE is working closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on a long-term cleanup strategy for the Hudson River floodplains. The work spans 43 miles of river and includes land along both shores from the Bakers Falls area of Hudson Falls, to Troy. The work will evaluate whether PCBs in areas prone to flooding are present at levels that pose potential risks to human health and the environment.

As the studies progress, EPA has determined that the Upper Hudson River and shoreline areas are safe for all types of recreation, including swimming, boating, kayaking, catch-and-release fishing, wading and hiking.

The studies GE is performing are embodied in a voluntary agreement GE and EPA signed in 2014. The work includes a significant data collection effort, development of human health and ecological risk assessments and an evaluation of potential cleanup activities. Based on the results, EPA, the Agency tasked with supervising GE’s work, will issue a cleanup plan (in a Record of Decision) for floodplain areas from Fort Edward to Troy, N.Y.

These activities build upon the substantial evaluations already conducted along the river’s banks. Since 2008, GE has collected more than 7,000 soil samples from areas that may flood during high-water events such as spring runoff. Approximately 85% of those samples showed no PCBs or very low levels.

Where elevated levels of PCBs have been detected in areas that are frequently used by residents or the public, GE installed EPA-approved “soil covers” or layers of clean soil to prevent contact with PCBs. All of GE’s work is approved and supervised by EPA.