Environment Technology

Environment Technology

Dredging the Hudson River – A Benchmark for Environmental Cleanup

Posted by admin on January 28, 2013 in Environment Protection with 10 Comments


Decades after polychlorinated biphenyls, better known as PCBs, were banned, they persist in the environment, harming wildlife and threatening human health.

Nearly 200 miles of the Hudson River is contaminated with PCBs because of routine dumping from ~1940-1977. Last week, at the end of October, GE concluded six months of dredging to remove PCBs from the most contaminated areas of what is currently one of the country’s biggest Superfund sites.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is overseeing the project. Duke alum David Rosoff (MS ’90, geology) is EPA’s on-scene coordinator of the project.

Duration : 0:4:6


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  1. zFaydesJanuary 28, 2013 - 11:01 am #1

    This is compete …
    This is compete bullshit, the PCB levels were not that high. its gonna take 100 years for the river to return to its natural environment and I can’t imagine how much money from our taxes are going to this shit. All this is doing is stirring up PCBs from the ground. What they should have done is detoxified the large area field where GE dumped PCBs.

  2. k9fecesJanuary 28, 2013 - 11:01 am #2

    The dredging went …
    The dredging went badly and is on hold, the dredging stirred up PCB’s that flowed downstream and contaminated drinkinng water in my area.

  3. skopeck1January 28, 2013 - 11:01 am #3

    @joe80dman, there …
    @joe80dman, there are more than 1200 Superfund Sites around the nation, and if all of the responsible parties (GE, in this case) were able to “write off” their expenses, you and I would notice the additional tax burden. Under Superfund Law, the polluter pays…the U.S. Gov’t (i.e. me and you) can’t pay for it all…and, we don’t! I’m sure as a multi-billion dollar corp that GE has good tax attorneys, but they still have several Superfund sites they are responsible for and are paying for.

  4. joe80dmanJanuary 28, 2013 - 11:01 am #4

    @skopeck1: I …
    @skopeck1: I sincerely doubt GE will be funding this, probably not at all. Their costs involved with this clean-up will be a write-off, so the cost of this debacle comes right back to the taxpayers.

  5. joe80dmanJanuary 28, 2013 - 11:01 am #5

    Designated as a …
    Designated as a Super Fund site. So, GE contaminates the Hudson at will, and the TAXPAYERS are handed the bill for cleaning it up. Bull!!!

  6. skopeck1January 28, 2013 - 11:01 am #6

    Although “Nmber6″ …
    Although “Nmber6″ is right that we did resuspend PCBs during Phase 1 of the project and we did have some exceedances of our air standards, both of these aspects were closely monitored and caused us to make “course corrections” or engineering changes during the dredging. The first phase was very successful. Find the facts at EPA’s website.

  7. skopeck1January 28, 2013 - 11:01 am #7

    Furthermore, ” …
    Furthermore, “Nmber6″ said PCBs slowly degrade and/or were buried, but EPA found this to not be the case.  Instead, 300 to 500 pounds of PCBs have been migrating over the Troy dam each year, and we found pure PCB oil in pockets around Roger’s Island. This material will not substantially degrade within the human time scale!

  8. skopeck1January 28, 2013 - 11:01 am #8

    I am EPA’s …
    I am EPA’s Community Involvement Coordinator for the Hudson River dredging project, so I’m very familiar with the work. General Electric is paying for the entire project, and they have already spent nearly $700 million. The entire project will likely cost more than a billion.

  9. bosonriderJanuary 28, 2013 - 11:01 am #9

    GE won’t pay a dime …
    GE won’t pay a dime. Put Jack Welch in jail if he is still alive.

  10. Nmber6January 28, 2013 - 11:01 am #10

    Since the beginning …
    Since the beginning, critics of this project have been concerned that dredging would release PCBs. That concern appears to have been prophetic as air and water levels downstream have now increased; once again calling into question the appropriateness of the decision to dredge these sediments to uncover PCBs that not only slowly degrade naturally, but were getting increasingly buried over time.

    I doubt GE will fund Phase II of this project.

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