General Electric denounces $619M Massachusetts river cleanup

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – General Electric is objecting to a $619 million federal proposal to clean chemicals from a river in western Massachusetts.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed cleaning PCBs from more than 400 acres along a 10.5-mile stretch of the Housatonic River in Pittsfield and Lenox. It includes dredging and trucking contaminated soil and sediment to an out-of-state facility.

The Berkshire Eagle ( ) reports that GE said in a letter to EPA officials that the plan isn’t a “common-sense solution.”

The company is pushing for a less expensive cleanup that involves dumping excavated material in a landfill.

GE discharged PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, into the river from a Pittsfield plant from the 1930s until 1977, when the U.S. government banned the use of the chemical. It has been linked to cancer.


Information from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle,