Leaked memo raises doubts about thoroughness of GE’s Hudson cleanup plan

Remember the historic settlement announced last month between the U.S. EPA and General Electric? The one that would have GE clean up PCBs in the Hudson River, one of the largest industrial cleanups ever attempted? Yeah, well … don’t get your hopes up. GE intends to cap off much of the pollution in the river instead of removing it, even though the cap could be washed away in a storm and release the remaining PCBs, according to a leaked internal government memo from a coastal-resources expert at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the EPA. The NOAA expert also says GE plans to largely omit restoration of riverbed habitat destroyed by the cleanup. The memo’s existence suggests NOAA and EPA could be at odds over the terms of the settlement — and gives skeptical conservationists more proof that EPA may be going easy on GE.