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Sorting out the Competing Claims

Conflicting claims and reports sometimes make it difficult to sort out the facts on the Hudson River. Here’s what we know:

  • The Hudson River is safe for swimming, wading, boating and use as a source of treated drinking water, according to the U.S. EPA and New York State.
  • A thriving recreational (catch-and-release) fishery is open in the Upper Hudson. In the Lower Hudson, consumption of fish is allowed with certain conditions. (Click here for NYS fish consumption advisories.) Recreational activity is rebounding in both the Upper and Lower Hudson.
  • The six-year, $1.7-billion dredging project in the Upper Hudson worked. PCB levels in water dropped significantly. EPA expects PCB levels in fish to decline as well.
  • GE implemented the dredging project EPA selected and removed the vast majority of PCBs in the Upper Hudson.
  • EPA, in its draft Five Year Review Report issued in May 2017, found that dredging worked as designed, and additional dredging is not necessary.
  • New York State has recently criticized the dredging project as insufficient, but New York State endorsed the dredging remedy when EPA selected it, was instrumental in every decision about the remedy, and joined EPA in overseeing the work.
  • Some government agencies and private environmental groups have called for more dredging, but EPA has determined that additional dredging would not so significantly accelerate the decline of PCB levels in fish that it could be justified.
  • GE has met or exceeded all of its obligations on the Hudson. In fact, GE removed twice the volume of PCBs that EPA projected.
  • EPA, New York and GE continue to cooperate on other Hudson River environmental cleanup projects.