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GE To Clean Up Hudson River By Spring 2011

December 24, 2010

General Electric said on Thursday that it is on track to complete a $500 million toxic waste cleanup project in New York’s Hudson river to settle a decade-old battle with U.S. environmental authorities.

GE said it informed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it will complete the second and final phase of the Hudson riverbed dredging project during the Spring of 2011.

It said it had set aside $500 million for the project and that it “expects this step will resolve future uncertainty regarding Hudson dredging liabilities.”

U.S. authorities banned a carcinogenic chemical known as polychlorinated biphenyls during the late 1970s, which was a chemical that GE used exclusively in a plant along the Hudson.

The chemical contaminated a 200-mile stretch of the river, but GE and the EPA argued over the extent of the cleanup and GE’s responsibility for it.

“GE has consistently said it wanted to complete the dredging and now looks forward to doing so under terms that achieve the scientific objectives of dredging in a practical and cost-effective way,” Ann Klee, vice president of GE’s environmental programs, said in a statement.

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