It's on us. Share your news here.

New York lawmakers want EPA to keep dredging Hudson River

Posted on February 26, 2024

New York lawmakers are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to keep dredging the Hudson River.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., sent a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, asking him to accept findings the agency’s earlier dredging efforts failed.

Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, dumped into the river by General Electric are still high, making the water hazardous for nearby municipalities using it as a primary drinking water source.

Ned Sullivan, president of the nonprofit Scenic Hudson, worries about the health effects of the chemicals.

“It is associated with cancer, neurological and respiratory disorders,” Sullivan outlined. “The primary pathway for human exposure is eating fish. This is a big deal, because there are people who are continuing to subsist on Hudson River fish.”

The EPA has warned against eating fish caught in the river between Troy and Hudson Falls. An assessment by the group Friends of a Clean Hudson River found current sediment recovery rates will not allow for natural recovery in fish. General Electric completed two of three sediment collection programs last year. A third program, to collect deeper samples, takes place this year.

Other agencies have accepted the dredging failed. In 2015, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported General Electric did not do enough dredging. Sullivan contended the primary reason previous efforts failed is they were not extensive enough.

“Even before the cleanup was undertaken, it was known and public that there was roughly twice the amount of contamination that the cleanup plan was based on,” Sullivan pointed out.

Once the EPA accepts the findings, the agency can examine different options for remediating the river, which will most likely be more dredging. However, Sullivan added it could change with emerging technologies.


It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe