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Case: Hudson River, NY

Site history: PCB discharges began at General Electric's manufacturing plants at Fort Edward and Hudson Falls, New York in 1947 and 1952, respectively.

Location: Hudson River, New York.


Case status: Conducting injury assessment studies and soliciting potential restoration project ideas from the public. View injury determination studies.

Photo of General Electric plant on the Hudson River Overview: For approximately 30 years, beginning in 1947 at Fort Edward and in 1952 at Hudson Falls, New York, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were discharged into the upper Hudson River by manufacturing plants operated by General Electric Company (GE). The discharges resulted from the washing of PCB-containing capacitors and accidental spills that occurred during manufacturing. Until 1973, the majority of PCB contamination was trapped in sediment behind a dam at Fort Edward. When the Fort Edward dam was removed that year, an estimated 1.3 million cubic yards of PCB-laden sediment was released downstream. PCB contamination now exists in all 200 miles of river, including the Battery in New York Harbor. In addition, previously unidentified subterranean sources of PCB contamination were discovered throughout the early 1990s. It is likely that injuries to NOAA trust resources have continued to occur as a result.

The Hudson River PCB site was placed on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) in 1981 and a natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) was initiated for the site in 1997.

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