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Dredging continues on Hudson

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has completed the third season of dredging in the upper Hudson River, removing about 650,000 cubic yards of sediment contaminated with PCBs from a three-mile section of the river south of Fort Edward. Since it began, more than 1.3 million cubic yards of sediment have been removed.

The EPA is almost halfway toward its goal.

“With each successful dredging season, we draw closer to a healthier Hudson River and to the day when we can restore this historic river to its former glory,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA regional administrator.

PCBs are likely cancer-causing chemicals and can cause neurological damage, especially in children. They build up in the fatty tissue of fish and other animals. The primary health risk to people is from eating contaminated fish.

Over a 30-year period ending in the late 1970s, an estimated 1.3 million pounds of PCBs entered the river from two General Electric capacitor manufacturing plants in Fort Edward and Hudson Falls, N.Y. The dredging project is being conducted by General Electric under the terms of a 2006 legal agreement.

The next season of dredging is set to begin in the spring. The dredged sediment is being shipped by train to permitted disposal facilities in other states. The rest of the cleanup is expected to take three to five more years to complete.

For more information, visit www.hudsondredgingdata.com.

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