EPA: Polluter GE Off the Hook for Toxic PCBs in Hudson River
The Hudson River—one of the most important and historic waterways in our country—is the latest target of the Trump administration’s unprecedented assault on the environment.
In an announcement today, the Trump EPA sided with one of the nation’s largest and wealthiest corporations—General Electric (GE)—in declaring that, at this time, the company does not need to undertake further clean-up of tens of thousands of pounds of toxic PCBs still buried in the River. Specifically, in an order issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Trump Administration certified GE’s half-done cleanup of the toxic PCBs as “complete.”
NRDC and our allies have worked for decades to ensure a full clean-up of the toxic PCBs in the Hudson—and that GE be fully held accountable for poisoning the river.
Today’s decision by EPA flies in the face of extensive water quality data showing that GE’s cleanup efforts to date are not sufficient to protect New Yorkers’ health or our environment. Specifically, sampling conducted by other federal agencies as well as by New York proves that the original cleanup plan, designed by EPA and GE, vastly underestimated the amount of PCBs in the Hudson, and that the cleanup is not achieving key health and safety targets.
We fully support Governor Cuomo’s reaction in response to the Trump EPA’s decision. "Time and again the Trump Administration puts corporations and polluters' interests ahead of public health and the environment,” the Governor said, adding: “Since the EPA has failed to hold GE accountable for fulfilling its obligation to restore the river, New York State will take any action necessary to protect our waterways and that includes suing the EPA to demand a full and complete remediation. Anything less is unacceptable."
And continuing the fight we’ve carried on for nearly the last half century, NRDC is prepared to join New York State in federal court against the Trump Administration’s irresponsible decision today to let GE off the hook.
And as the late, great Tom Petty sang: “We won’t back down.”