The FINANCIAL — GE on October 5 announced it has completed dredging in New York’s Upper Hudson River. Since 2009, GE has removed the majority of PCBs from the Upper Hudson River in one of the largest and most successful environmental cleanup projects ever undertaken in the United States.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has called the project an historic achievement that protected the environment and human health. GE’s crews removed more than 300,000 pounds of PCBs from the river – more than twice as much as had been anticipated, according to GE.
“Thirteen years ago, I committed GE to undertaking an environmental dredging project of a size, scope and complexity that had not been attempted before,” said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. “Our goal was to perform this work as safely and effectively as possible in full compliance with the rigorous standards and timetable set by EPA. We brought world-class GE engineering and technology to the task, and we met every obligation on the Hudson, and will continue to do so. I am proud of the work of our GE team and confident that the dredging project will benefit the Hudson for generations to come.”
“This project took seven years to design and six more to complete,” said Ann Klee, GE’s vice president of Global Operations — Environment, Health and Safety. “Our team of environmental engineers and dredging experts and our contractors worked around the clock to successfully achieve the goals of the project while minimizing to the greatest possible extent impacts on the river and local communities. We could not have completed this project without the steadfast cooperation of local communities, property owners and residents of the Upper Hudson and our strong working relationship with EPA, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Canal Corporation.”
Dredging took place over a 40-mile stretch of the Upper Hudson River between Fort Edward, N.Y. and Troy, N.Y. The work was performed 24 hours a day, six days a week, for six months of the year for six years. GE invested more than $1 billion to complete the project. More than 500 people were employed.
Although dredging is now completed, GE’s environmental cleanup work on and along the Hudson River will continue. GE will restore under-water vegetation to areas of the river that have been dredged and will monitor environmental conditions in the river for the foreseeable future. The data will be used to assess the benefits of the dredging project. GE also will continue the cleanups of its Hudson Falls, N.Y., and Fort Edward, N.Y., plant sites — cleanups that already have eliminated the sites as significant sources of PCBs to the river — and will continue a comprehensive evaluation of the floodplains along the river shorelines.
“We are proud of what we have accomplished so far, and look forward to bringing the same standard of excellence to the work that lies ahead,” said Klee.