of takers for Hudson sediment another reason to rethink
The federal Environmental Protection Agency's decision to
dredge PCBs from the Hudson River in Saratoga County is
best described as half-baked.
After all, the EPA still doesn't know where the PCBs will
That's not stopping it from proceeding with its controversial
and questionable plan to spend half a billion dollars to
remove 2.65 million cubic yards of sediment and separate
from it 50,000 pounds of PCBs.
Topping the list of places that definitely do not want the
PCBs is Niagara County, home of the infamous Love Canal.
''We've paid our dues,'' said Bill Choboy, spokesman for
a group called Residents for Responsible Government.
Unfortunately for them, the Niagara County toxic waste landfill
is the only one licensed in the Northeast to accept PCBs.
That's some honor.
The more-than-400-acre landfill is about a mile from the
Niagara River and Lake Ontario and 10 miles from Niagara
Falls, in the town of Porter. The possibility of taking
the Hudson's PCBs is not being warmly received by all of
the town's 7,000 residents.
To make the point, Niagara County residents are trying to
make themselves heard in the Legislature, where bills have
been introduced to prohibit dumping PCBs in their county.
One Niagara County resident is in the midst of a roughly
350-mile walk from Albany to Porter, hoping to generate
awareness about the issue.
PCBs are a possibly cancer-causing manufacturing byproduct
that the General Electric Co. dumped into the Hudson for
years. GE's convincing argument about not stirring up the
PCBs by dredging was ignored by the EPA. So the plan is
It could be another two or three years before the dredging
gets under way. But before a spoonful of sediment is removed,
the EPA must have a lucky recipient selected to accept it.
The lack of takers should be one more reason for the EPA
to rethink its decision to not leave well enough alone.
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