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News stories tagged with "pcbs"

The former General Motors site in Massena is one source of St. Lawrence River PCB contamination. Photo: RACER Trust
The former General Motors site in Massena is one source of St. Lawrence River PCB contamination. Photo: RACER Trust

Protest of PCB landfills near Akwesasne planned

Environmental activists will gather at a park in Massena tomorrow to protest the ongoing presence of toxic PCBs in the area.

Organizer Donald Hassig says industrial chemicals from the Alcoa, Reynolds, and General Motors plants continue to pose a threat to the health of people in Massena and on the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation.  Go to full article
Part of the 7.2 mile contaminated stretch of the Grasse. Photo: David Sommerstein
Part of the 7.2 mile contaminated stretch of the Grasse. Photo: David Sommerstein

Mohawks rip EPA's Grasse River cleanup plan

Update: The EPA released its final plan for the Alcoa Grasse River cleanup late this morning. More information is at The Inbox.

Just ahead of the release of a plan to clean up toxic chemicals from the Grasse River near Massena, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe blasted federal officials for putting the economy ahead of the environment.  Go to full article
Part of the 7.2 mile contaminated stretch of the Grasse. Photo: David Sommerstein
Part of the 7.2 mile contaminated stretch of the Grasse. Photo: David Sommerstein

Alcoa commits to 900 jobs in Massena; Grasse cleanup still in flux

The company that built Massena will keep its plants open there for at least another 30 years.

Alcoa announced Saturday it will invest $42 million to modernize its East plant and build a new smelting the line. The company will also guarantee at least 900 jobs. In return, Alcoa will get low cost electricity from the hydropower dam on the St. Lawrence River.

The deal hinges on how the Environmental Protection Agency decides to clean up PCBs Alcoa and Reynolds dumped in the Grasse River decades ago.

David Sommerstein joined Martha Foley for more on the deal.  Go to full article
Part of the area to be cleaned up by Perras Environmental Control.  Photo: David Sommerstein.
Part of the area to be cleaned up by Perras Environmental Control. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Massena firm wins GM cleanup bid

A local environmental firm was selected for the next cleanup phase of General Motors' contaminated site in Massena.  Go to full article
The New York Air Brake industrial site was cleaned up in the late 1990s, but neighborhood residents fear chemicals from the site may be the cause of their illnesses.
The New York Air Brake industrial site was cleaned up in the late 1990s, but neighborhood residents fear chemicals from the site may be the cause of their illnesses.

DEC looks to calm fears over chem dump site health risks

A toxic waste site in Watertown is drawing renewed attention from residents and city leaders.

New York Air Brake's chemical dump on the north side of town was cleaned up in the 1990s. State environmental officials say it's been monitored since then and they're convinced it's safe for neighbors and wildlife. But people who live nearby believe they have health problems traceable to the site. And they fear it still poses a health risk.  Go to full article
We don’t see how there’s ...a mechanism for people to be exposed.

Half-mile stretch of Black River contaminated, but not dangerous, says DEC

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is joining the Federal Environmental Protection Agency in the effort to clean up a heavily polluted half-mile section of the Black River.

Paper mills and other industry along the river near the villages of Carthage and West Carthage, left it heavily polluted. The area was declared an EPA Superfund site last year. But it's still heavily used for fishing, rafting and kayaking, and there are several homes along the polluted stretch.  Go to full article

Big companies fight back on river clean-ups

The Environmental Protection Agency was to be in Ft Edward last night for an information session on the dredging of PCB-laden sediment from the Hudson River. The $780 million project is expected to take six years. It's the biggest clean up of a river in the country. The first phase of the cleanup concluded in October.

PCBs are considered probable carcinogens. General Electric plants in Fort Edward and neighboring Hudson Falls dumped PCB-contaminated wastewater into the Hudson for decades before PCBs were banned in 1977. GE has been doing the clean up, supervised by the EPA. They'll review this past summer's work over the winter. The next dredging work is expected in 2011.

GE fought the plan to dredge PCBs for years. Spokesman Mark Behan told the Albany Times Union the company has not committed to continue to pay for the clean up when dredging resumes.

A fight over dioxin pollution from a Dow Chemical plant in central Michigan also dates back over 30 years. It's a local issue that's made national news, like the Hudson River PCBs. And it's still unresolved, despite administration changes, Congressional hearings, and whistle-blower awards. Shawn Allee met the man who first took the issue to Congress and who feels it should make news again.  Go to full article
The dredging operation on the upper Hudson unearthed 1700s-era timbers believed to be part of the original Fort Edward (Source:  EPA)
The dredging operation on the upper Hudson unearthed 1700s-era timbers believed to be part of the original Fort Edward (Source: EPA)

EPA faces hurdles, new controversy in Hudson dredging project

Three months after the Environmental Protection Agency began dredging toxic PCBs from the Hudson River, the project faces fresh criticism. The cleanup of industrial chemicals dumped in the river by General Electric is one of the largest and most complex environmental efforts ever undertaken in the U.S.

But many locals say too much pollution from the project is leaking back into the water and the air. They also worry that the dredging has damaged archeological sites along the river. Brian Mann reports from Fort Edward.  Go to full article
Dredging barges head for the river (Source:  EPA)
Dredging barges head for the river (Source: EPA)

Dredging begins on Upper Hudson after decades of PCB debate

After decades of research, litigation and political wrangling, General Electric is finally dredging tons of PCB-contaminated muck from the upper Hudson River. The first scoop was pulled from the river Friday morning. It's expected to be one of the biggest and most challenging environmental clean-ups in US history. This morning, Brian Mann has a special in-depth look at the battle over the future of the Hudson River.  Go to full article

River scientists convene in Cornwall

150 scientists from the U.S. and Canada meet in Cornwall, Ontario, today to assess the health of the St. Lawrence River. The St. Lawrence River Institute's annual conference comes on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the construction of the hydropower dam. The dam brought clean power and good jobs, but also pollution, Superfund sites, and environmental destruction. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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