Skip to comments.Dredging of Pollutants Begins in Hudson
Posted on 05/17/2009 5:51:52 PM PDT by neverdem
MOREAU, N.Y. Twenty-five years after the federal government declared a long stretch of the Hudson River to be a contaminated Superfund site, the cleanup of its chief remaining source of pollution began here Friday with a single scoop of mud extracted by a computer-guided dredge.
Twelve dredges are to work round the clock, six days a week, into October, removing sediment laced with the chemicals known as PCBs. Mile-long freight trains running every several days will carry the dried mud to a hazardous-waste landfill in Texas.
An estimated 1.3 million pounds of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, flowed into the upper Hudson from two General Electric factories for three decades before they were banned, in 1977, as a health threat to people and wildlife. In high doses, they have been shown to cause cancer in animals and are listed by federal agencies as a probable human carcinogen.
Today, the healing of the Hudson begins, George Pavlou, the Environmental Protection Agencys acting regional administrator, said under bright skies in a riverbank ceremony here as federal, state and local officials, G.E. representatives and environmental campaigners looked on.
Those gathered scrambled from a white tent to get a good view as a blue clamshell bucket rose slowly from the riverbed holding the first five cubic yards of mud. A lone duck paddled downriver along the far bank.
The dredging operation is the first phase of an operation that, if it continues as projected through 2015, could largely eliminate the Hudsons last significant toxic legacy from an era of unfettered industrial activity and dumping.
While the Superfund site itself is 197 miles long, stretching from Hudson Falls, N.Y., to the southern tip of Manhattan, the initial phase involves spots along a six-mile segment south of Fort Edward, the hamlet across the river from this...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I’d be willing to bet that they dredge up some really odd stuff...
Just a question: Is it "dumping" if the material you released was considered innocuous at the time you released it? As opposed to illegal (at the time) dispersal into the environment?
This could have a big effect upon operations that have relied on coal-burning, among other things...
You beat me to it!
There are several people who believe this just stir up crap that’s been covered over for years.
Gadzooks! If that ain't a reason to secede... what is???
Oh, well, time for the season final... of "Desperate Housewives" for us Desperate Old Housebots!
It'll take a dna test to prove it...
While I don't know a lot about this, I do remember reading that stirring up all this sentiment will be worse than just letting it be.
I also remember being told that PCB used to be put on the dirt roads to minimize dust. How come no one wants to dig up those roads?
I’ve felt like that after some late nights, fo sho.
On second thought forget it, that would be too easy.
Uh, didn’t they have a documentary of something about how pristine the Hudson is now?
Yeah that is the excuse the Florida enviowackos use for banning drilling for oil or gas off their Gulf shores!
The feds wouldn’t be able to soak GE for billions if they did that, you silly.
No drilling was going on then.
****Twelve dredges are to work round the clock, six days a week, into October, removing sediment laced with the chemicals known as PCBs.****
We have a saying...”When you stir old s#!t it still stinks as bad as the first time!”
Why not leave it alone where it will be covered by other sediments instead of polluting Texas!
The methods (dredging) they are using only guarantee that large amounts of the PCB contaminants will just be released into the river flow and will be freshly deposited downstream. Where they were, these contaminated sediments were encapsulated with decades of uncontaminated sediment. Now, the PCBs will be completely exposed to the water and aquatic life and will be re-contaminating everything for years to come. There must be a democrat involved.
Thanks for the link.
This stuff had been entombed in mud and sediment ... essentially cut off from anything it might have adversely affected. Now, it is all being stirred up and re-released into the river.
but they won’t dredge the pollutants from City Hall.
I remember reading a story in the NY Times that the lower Hudson around NYC was cleaned so much that wooden piers around the city resumed rotting again. Before, with all of the pollution, it inhibited the microorganisms that make wood in water rot.
I still live on the Hudson.
Will everybody interested in this issue also be getting daily updates through “The Dredge Report”?
A few years ago they were testing the creek water which flows to the reservoirs. It was the only year that I noticed so many dead fish and cray fish. I wonder what was dumped in the water that year.
“Why not leave it alone where it will be covered by other sediments instead of polluting Texas!”
Not to mention stirring it up and some if it washing downstream and polluting otherwise non polluted river bottom.
I’ll be looking for a full expose on this reported by the NBC Nightly News. /sarc.
Why take the crud to Texas?
Back in the 1970's when PCB's were a hot topic many studies were made as to what to do about the PCB's in the silt in the Hudson. The consensus was to leave the Hudson alone and let new silt cover the old, effectively sealing off the PCB's.
The PCB's in the Hudson came from several GE plants which began dumping the PCB's in the 1940's.
In the mid 1970's GE agreed to stop dumping the PCB's into the Hudson but since then PCB's have still been leaching into the river from various GE plants. So the premise that new silt would be free of PCB's proved to be false.
In 1976 GE reached agreement with the State of New York to spend a measly $4 million dollars on PCB research and monitoring PCB levels in the Hudson. In return GE was held blameless by the state for the massive pollution.
GE is still fighting with the federal government over the cost of the cleanup. Estimates to clean up the entire Hudson range into the many billions of dollars.
GE has been a big backer of Barack Obama (GE owns NBC and MSNBC - the All-Obama channels) so it will be interesting to see how they make out in their efforts to escape paying for the cleanup.
Yes, they do.
It's called New York City.
I had such a grand time when I lived there, in Glens Falls. We even swam in the canal.
near TZ Bridge
Because NJ got first choice.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
LOL! Thanks for the link.
I went swimming in the Hudson once, back in the 70s. Broke out with an itchy rash all over my body. Never swam in it again.
GE the Green Company Right\s
I grew up on the Hudson River. It was bad and had been cleaned up pretty good during the 70’s and 80’s. You can fish pretty clearly now and I think that the Hudson River will be stirred up badly by this round. Not a good idea and I do not understand why it is happening after all the progress.
It always seems that the goobermint chooses a technology that either makes the problem worse, or at best just plain does not work. Bioremediation is a proven technology for treating numerous contaminant components in effluents. Dupont has been successfully using biotreatment to eliminate nickel from their effluent (Fluor Corporation was the E&C on that project).
See my rsponse to Vince Ferrer. It would have been much better to inject PCB digesting bugs directly into the location of PCB contamination. But that is too obvious, so the politician (Dumbocrat of course) as a rule picks a method that make it worse. Just like corn based ethanol. And when the situation does gets worse, well, IT’S BUSH’S FAULT! (standard liberal way out of anything)
“And when the situation does gets worse, well, ITS BUSHS FAULT! (standard liberal way out of anything)”
Perhaps more significant is that goobers in gubberment agencies can clamor for more funds to ‘keep cleaning the Hudson’.
More Funds - what fun!
funny, I thought it was Albany.
Definately - at least when the legislature is in session.