15 Fiction Fact New data show there were more PCBs in the river than expected. It will be 70 years before fish can be eaten. EPA should have required more dredging. PCBs in the Upper Hudson continue to be transported downstream. PCB levels in fish in the Lower Hudson River are not declining as expected. While more PCBs were discovered in the river when dredging began — more were also removed. In fact, twice as many pounds of PCBs (340,000 pounds) were removed from the river than initially anticipated. New York State already allows for weekly or monthly consumption of most fish in the 110 miles of the Lower Hudson River from Catskill to New York Harbor by men over 15 and women over age 50, including the prized striped bass. (NYS DOH Hudson River Fish Advisory Tables) Where there are fish consumption advisories, EPA projected those may be relaxed in half the amount of time suggested by others — in approximately 34 years. (Record of Decision, Pg. 71) EPA made clear when it selected dredging that the declines in PCB levels in fish produced by the remediation project would take place over many years. Water samples taken in 2016 show significant decreases in the amount of PCBs in the water both in the Upper Hudson and the Lower Hudson. In Albany, the average amount of PCBs in the river dropped by 60 percent (from 21 parts per trillion to 8). Fish in the Lower Hudson already had lower levels of PCBs before the start of dredging than those in the Upper Hudson, and the data show those numbers have continued to drop. Samples taken at Albany–Troy show all tested species (Black Bass, Catfish, Perch, Pumpkinseed, Forage Fish) saw reductions in 2016 in PCB levels compared with 2007 – 2009 data. EPA’s model showed that significantly more dredging in the Upper Hudson would not be significantly more protective, but that strategic dredging of sediments with elevated PCB concentrations would deliver nearly the same risk-reduction benefit. EPA confirmed that GE removed 2.7 million cubic yards from 488 acres of river bottom and addressed 100 percent of the PCBs targeted by EPA and more than twice the amount of PCB mass originally projected. GE’s work on the Hudson River will continue, with ongoing collection of water, sediment and fish data to evaluate the impact of the cleanup. Fact vs. Fiction