Site history: PCB discharges began at
General Electric's manufacturing plants at Fort Edward and Hudson
Falls, New York in 1947 and 1952, respectively.
River, New York.
Case status: Conducting injury assessment studies and soliciting potential restoration project ideas
from the public. View injury determination studies.
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 NOAA trust resources
have been and will continue to be injured following remedy
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. In 2002, EPA selected dredging of approximately 2.65 million cubic yards (cy) of PCB-contaminated sediment from the Upper Hudson River as the primary way to clean up the river. Several years of remedial design ensued. The Phase 1 remedy was implemented in River Section 1 in 2009. At the end of the season, 10 Certification Units (CUs) were remediated; 48.3 acres dredged (~283,000 cy sediment), approximately 17.3 acres capped (~36%) and approximately 31 acres backfilled. In 2010, a peer review panel evaluated whether the Engineering Performance Standards (EPS) should be modified during Phase 2 based on the results of Phase 1 remediation. Their recommendations were issued in a September 2010 report. Phase 2 Year 1 commenced in 2011. An additional 75 acres (~363,000 cy) was dredged from 15 CUs of River Section 1 and about 6% of the remediated area was capped. During 2012 (Phase 2 Year 2), more than 663,000 cy of sediment were dredged from River Section 1 and about 10% of the area was capped. In the first three years of dredging, more than 1.2 million cy of sediment have been removed from the river. Dredging will recommence in River Section 1 in the spring of 2013.