U.S. Water News Online
ALBANY, N.Y. -- A federal judge has approved the consent
decree between General Electric and the federal government to dredge
PCBs from part of the Hudson River, bringing the massive project a
step closer to beginning.
In giving his approval, U.S. District Judge David Hurd turned back
a challenge to the decree from Fort Edward, the town at the center of
the dredging project. The town argued that a planned waste treatment
site 1.4 miles away from the river is outside the federally
designated Superfund site.
But Hurd said the location of the plant could be considered in
"very close proximity" to the site, according to the 19-page decision
that endorsed the deal between GE and the Environmental Protection
"The compromise represented by the consent order is a
cost-effective alternative to litigation that will allow government
and GE resources to be spent on remediation rather than litigation,"
Hurd wrote. "In sum, the consent order is reasonable."
GE discharged wastewater containing PCBs into the river until
1977. Under the company's deal with the federal government, GE will
remove sediments from a 40-mile stretch of the river north of Albany.
Officials say the project, which may cost more than $700 million,
could start in 2008.
Rich Schiafo of Scenic Hudson said there should be no other
obstacle to moving the project forward other than an eminent domain
proceeding that was being considered by Fort Edward.
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