GE Chemical Dumping ‘Injured Natural Resources’

GE plants on the Hudson River

by | Feb 5, 2014

GE plants on the Hudson RiverGeneral Electric did not mention environmental harm it caused by dumping chemicals into New York’s Hudson River, according to federal officials.

In a Jan. 30 letter to the GE, the Federal Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees say they have “documented injuries to natural resources” including fish, waterfowl and surface and groundwater that GE’s recent report “does not acknowledge.” The trustees are assessing the damage and developing a restoration plan for the Hudson River, which is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) released by GE.

PCBs, which cause cancer and other health problems, are no longer manufactured in the US. They were banned in 1979, but once released into the environment they do not readily break down, the EPA says.

Two GE manufacturing facilities (pictured) began discharging PCBs into the river in the late-1940s. The company didn’t have permits to dump the chemicals until the mid-1070s. After it obtained discharge permits, the company continued to release PCBs directly into the river, which was not permitted, the letter says.

The company has spent more than $1 billion to clean up the river, Reuters reports. In an emailed statement to the news agency, GE said its report “is a comprehensive and factual analysis of actual Hudson River data, including in substantial part the Trustees’ own reports.”




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