General Electric begins today the sixth and final season of one the largest and most complex environmental dredging projects ever undertaken in the United States.
At the conclusion of this year’s work, approximately 3.3 million tons of dewatered sediment — 2.9 million cubic yards — will have been removed from the Upper Hudson River in a project that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has called a success and a national model.
GE will have addressed 100 percent of the PCBs targeted by EPA over 488 acres of river bottom stretching 40 miles between Fort Edward and Troy, N.Y.
The company has invested more than $1 billion in the project and met all of its commitments to EPA.
Even after dredging is completed, GE’s work on the Hudson will continue, with a focus on the floodplains, the low-lying areas along the shore between Fort Edward and Troy. Under an agreement with EPA, GE will conduct a study of the floodplains to determine where PCBs may be present and identify appropriate remedies
GE also will continue to conduct regular monitoring of environmental conditions in the Upper Hudson and continue major cleanups at its Hudson Falls and Fort Edward plant sites.
This summer and fall, working 24 hours a day, six days a week, GE’s dredging crews will focus on removing an estimated 250,000 cubic yards of sediment in areas of the river from Northumberland to Waterford, N.Y. In addition, GE’s crews will remove sediments from a two-mile section of the river that is inaccessible by boat. GE, EPA, the New York State Canal Corp., local elected officials and property owners worked together to design a creative land-based approach to perform the work in this area.
The river remains open for all recreational and commercial activity during dredging.