Sorting out the Competing Claims

Conflicting claims and reports sometimes make it difficult to sort out the facts on the Hudson River. Here’s what we know:

  • The Hudson River is safe for swimming, wading, boating and use as a source of treated drinking water, according to the U.S. EPA and New York State.
  • A thriving recreational (catch-and-release) fishery is open in the Upper Hudson. In the Lower Hudson, consumption of fish is allowed with certain conditions. (Click here for NYS fish consumption advisories.) Recreational activity is rebounding in both the Upper and Lower Hudson.
  • The six-year, $1.7-billion dredging project in the Upper Hudson is working. PCB levels in water have dropped significantly at every monitoring station along the Hudson, with related declines in sediment and fish.
  • GE implemented the dredging project EPA selected and removed the vast majority of PCBs in the Upper Hudson.
  • EPA, in its draft Five Year Review Report issued in May 2017, found that dredging worked as designed, and additional dredging is not necessary.
  • New York State has criticized the dredging project as insufficient, but New York State endorsed the dredging remedy when EPA selected it, was instrumental in every decision about the remedy, and joined EPA in overseeing the work.
  • A federal court ruled against New York State when it sued EPA, affirming that EPA's issuance of a certification of completion to GE was appropriate.
  • Some government agencies and private environmental groups have called for more dredging, but EPA has determined that additional dredging would not so significantly accelerate the decline of PCB levels in fish that it could be justified.
  • GE has met or exceeded all of its obligations on the Hudson. In fact, GE removed twice the volume of PCBs that EPA projected.
  • EPA, New York and GE continue to cooperate on other Hudson River environmental cleanup projects.