Hudson River cleanup makes progress - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Hudson River cleanup makes progress

Posted: Updated:
Tugboats are used to move barges of contaminated sediment to an upstream processing facility and clean backfill to the previously dredged areas. (EPA photo) Tugboats are used to move barges of contaminated sediment to an upstream processing facility and clean backfill to the previously dredged areas. (EPA photo)

MICHAEL HILL | AP

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A $2 billion cleanup of the upper Hudson River is proceeding briskly and could finish in two years, an Environmental Protection Agency official said Tuesday.

EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck gave a progress report on the federal Superfund project as crews on the river north of Albany this week wrap up a fourth year of dredging sediment contaminated with poly-chlorinated biphenyls.

Enck said workers are almost three-quarters toward their final goal of removing 2.65 million cubic yards, and have removed 612,000 cubic yards this season, 75 percent over the project's annual goal. Good weather and efficient work by crews under the direction of General Electric Co. has helped speed progress, she said.

"We're working toward what once seemed an unobtainable goal, and that is a healthy, vibrant Hudson River," Enck told reporters on a conference call.

In one of the largest and most complex Superfund projects ever undertaken, GE agreed with the EPA to remove PCBs from a 40-mile stretch of river at a cost Enck estimated would be about $2 billion. Until 1977, the Fairfield, Conn.-based company discharged into the river about 1.3 million pounds of PCBs, which were used as coolants in electrical equipment.

The EPA believes the dredging will clean the river of PCB contamination and eventually make the fish safe to eat. There are currently consumption advisories for fish from the river.

Althea Mullarkey, a public policy analyst at Scenic Hudson, said she shared Enck's optimistic assessment of the work, but stressed the need for an expanded project. Environmentalists have long been pressing for additional dredging of contaminated sections outside the Superfund site, though Enck said again Tuesday that is not being contemplated.

Dredging is set to end by the weekend, though crews will be filling dredged areas with sand and gravel for several weeks, if weather permits.

  • New York State NewsNew York State NewsMore>>

  • Hudson River Sloop Clearwater

    Pete Seeger's environmental legacy lives on

    Pete Seeger's environmental legacy lives on

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-07-25 22:16:30 GMT
    American folk singer and activist Pete Seeger's passion for music and the environment embodied who he was every single day of his life. In 1966, Seeger co-founded the organization Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Ever since, Seeger's 106-foot-long sloop, Clearwater, has been sailing up and down the Hudson River to educate and inspire children to protect the environment.
    American folk singer and activist Pete Seeger's passion for music and the environment embodied who he was every single day of his life. In 1966, Seeger co-founded the organization Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Ever since, Seeger's 106-foot-long sloop, Clearwater, has been sailing up and down the Hudson River to educate and inspire children to protect the environment.
  • Prison officers block news crew from tourist site

    Prison officers block news crew from tourist site

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:25 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:25:19 GMT
    An upstate New York TV crew was threatened with arrest by corrections officers as they filmed at a public historic site on the grounds of an empty, soon-to-be-closed state prison.
    An upstate New York TV crew was threatened with arrest by corrections officers as they filmed at a public historic site on the grounds of an empty, soon-to-be-closed state prison.
  • New York suggests summer shutdown for Indian Point

    New York suggests summer shutdown for Indian Point

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:08 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:08:24 GMT
    A state agency is suggesting summer shutdowns at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in the New York suburbs. The idea is to protect migrating and spawning fish who might otherwise get sucked into the plant. Indian Point takes 2.5 billion gallons a day from the Hudson River to make steam and cool its two reactors.
    A state agency is suggesting summer shutdowns at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in the New York suburbs. The idea is to protect migrating and spawning fish who might otherwise get sucked into the plant. Indian Point takes 2.5 billion gallons a day from the Hudson River to make steam and cool its two reactors.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices