General Electric has formally disputed the federal government’s plan to clean the Housatonic River of pollutants, further pushing back a process that has lasted for decades already.
The EPA in September notified Fairfield-based GE of the agency’s intended final decision on a plan to address contamination in the lower portion of the Housatonic River, including in Connecticut.
The issue concerns polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, that the company legally dumped from its Pittsfield, Mass., production plant until 1977, and which linger in the river’s sediment.
GE and the EPA signed an agreement in 2000 that addressed cleaning the areas around the plant.
The section known as Rest of River — which starts about 2 miles south of Pittsfield and ends where the Housatonic empties into Long Island Sound, between Milford and Stratford — is currently under discussion.
The plan, rather than calling for removal of PCBs from Connecticut, would entail monitoring natural recovery.
(SO THE PLAN IS NOT TO CLEAN THE RIVER……THE PLAN IS ONLY TO LOOK AT THE RIVER AS MOTHER NATURE DOES THE CLEANING…. SOUNDS LIKE NO PLAN AT ALL. )
The cost of this portion of the cleanup has been estimated at $619 million over 13 years.
(THE COST OF LOOKING AT THE RIVER WHILE DOING NOTHING WILL BE 619 MILLION?????REALLY?????CAN I HAVE THAT JOB????? I WILL GLADLY STAND BY WATCHING THE RIVER FOR 619MILLION. THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT JOB.)
GE said the agency’s approach is “unstudied,” adding: “The inevitable negative impacts of EPA’s Rest of River remedy are dismissed and cost considerations are ignored.”
(WATCHING THE RIVER (WHILE NOT CLEANING IT) IS A CONCERN TO GE BECAUSE THEY HAVEN’T STUDIED WHETHER NOT CLEANING IT WILL REALLY BE EFFECTIVE….. NOT CLEANING IT WHILE WATCHING IT IS ALSO REAL EXPENSIVE TOO. I CAN UNDERSTAND GE'S CONCERNS FOR SURE.)
GE said the EPA’s approach requires too much disruption of the river that will lead to uncertain gains.
(WATCHING THE RIVER WHILE NOT CLEANING IT MIGHT RUIN THE RIVER FOREVER….UNLIKE THOSE PCB’S THAT GE DUMPED WHICH MADE THE RIVER SUCH A WONDERFUL PLACE.)
Connecticut has long issued warnings on eating fish caught in the Housatonic because of PCBs and other industrial contaminants.
People considered to be in high-risk groups, including children and pregnant women, should avoid almost all fish from the river, the state says, though swimming in the river and its lakes is not considered dangerous.
(THERE IS NOTHING MORE REFRESHING THAN A SWIM THROUGH THE PCB’S…..IT IS INVIGORATING.)