NRDC Calls on Whitman to Move Speedily on PCB Clean Up Plan

(NEW YORK) October 4, 2001 - In a letter to EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, NRDC Executive Director Frances Beinecke today expressed deep concern about recent developments that threaten to undermine the cleanup of PCBs from the Hudson River.

The letter was prompted by recent news that EPA headquarters is seriously considering including specific numeric performance standards (or a range of values) in the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Hudson River project. At a meeting with Whitman in July, environmentalists recognized the appropriateness of performance standards to guide the clean up, but expected that the exact standards would be developed after issuance of the ROD, during the project design phase, as has always been the case.

"Establishing standards that either shut down or limit the dredging, or that cause endless delays, will give GE a perverse incentive to do a bad job in order to violate the standards and grind the remediation to a halt," Beinecke wrote.

She urged the EPA to move speedily to issue the ROD as Whitman promised this summer. She offered assistance to the EPA, the State, General Electric and other stakeholders in designing sensible performance standards after the ROD is final, during the design phase of the clean-up.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 500,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Additional Downloadable Material for the Press
NRDC's letter to Whitman in Microsoft Word format, 85k