TAKE ACTION—Pressure the EPA to Protect the Hudson and our Nation's Health

WHAT YOU CAN DO

The EPA released its draft Second Five Year Review to determine whether the dredging project has reached the goal of protecting human health and the environment.  The agency’s draft report indicates that the river won’t be healthy for at least several decades. But NOAA, DEC, NYSDOH and other environmental groups contend that the river will not be healthy for another 100 years or more. The river is a national treasure and a vital resource for people, communities and our jobs and economy. Without additional cleanup the public and wildlife will continue to be exposed to dangerous pollutants that severely hamper the ability of communities to leverage the economic potential of their waterfronts. 

The river remains contaminated far above the thresholds established in EPA’s cleanup plan, and people continue to be exposed to toxins at unacceptable levels. This is a pivotal time to make your voice heard and ensure EPA finishes the cleanup right!

Submit your comments on the draft Five Year Review by email (epahrfo@outlook.com) and tell EPA that it needs to declare the cleanup “not protective” of human health and the environment, and that additional dredging is necessary!

Background

For over 30 years—from the 1940s to the 1970s—General Electric discharged an unknown amount of PCB-laced waste into the Hudson River from its capacitor manufacturing plants in upstate Hudson Falls and Fort Edward. These toxins have accumulated in the land, river sediment and food web all along the river, turning the Hudson into the largest Superfund site in America—stretching 200 miles to New York Harbor. Scenic Hudson and our partners have fought to get GE to take responsibility for this toxic disaster (with pollution estimated in the billions of pounds) and restore the river and communities along it to their full health.

After six years of dredging, a cleaner, safer Hudson is within reach—but now EPA has allowed GE to dismantle its on-river operation, abandoning the remaining toxic river sediments that federal, state and local agencies warn could set back economic and environmental recovery for decades. Supported by community partners and our dedicated members, Scenic Hudson remains present at every stage of this historic remediation and continues to press for the most comprehensive cleanup possible.

Success and a cleaner, healthier future for the Hudson depends on EPA allowing good science and decisive oversight to direct the actions of the cleanup project before it’s too late.

Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan’s Huffington Post blog links poisoned-water disasters in the news with a botched cleanup of toxic Hudson River PCBs. Before the cleanup began the EPA knew there were dramatically more PCBs well beyond “hot spots” targeted for removal, but did nothing to alter its plan. The EPA is failing to protect the environment and our health. Falling short in the Hudson—the country’s largest toxic cleanup—would undercut remediation of health-threatening pollution nationwide. We need to ramp up pressure on the EPA. More than 80 municipalities, 161 state legislators, editorials from The New York Times and numerous valley papers, as well as two federal agencies have called for more dredging. The voice of the people must sound loudly NOW—Submit comments on the Five Year Review to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 Director, Gary Klawinski (518) 407-0400 or epahrfo@outlook.com) and tell him that more dredging is needed for the Hudson.

Watch the mini-documentary by renowned filmmaker Jon Bowermaster to learn more about the threats posed by the remaining PCBs in the Hudson. 

 
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