EPA Agrees to Expedite PCB Dredging Review

The leading environmental groups closely monitoring the Hudson River PCB-dredging project yesterday praised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for agreeing to accelerate its review of the cleanup’s effectiveness.

The groups also lauded the EPA for its intent to provide “enhanced public involvement” in the review process – heeding their call to make the review as thorough, transparent and inclusive as possible by encouraging the participation of fellow federal and state agencies, environmental stakeholders, and officials and concerned citizens in riverfront communities.

The EPA’s announcement of the accelerated review comes in response to a meeting the groups held earlier this month with top agency officials in Washington to voice their concerns about the adequacy of the cleanup to date and the urgency of reviewing the project immediately.

In addition to indicating it will commence the review process beginning in early 2016, the agency notified the groups that if the review determines the cleanup has not made the river “protective of human health and the environment,” as required under Superfund law, it will consider additional remedial actions that need to be taken.

The groups pledged their active participation in the accelerated review, which they hope will lead to further removal of PCBs that continue to threaten the environmental health of the river and the people who live along its banks.

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