Environmental groups and officials in New York state are concerned that General Electric may be making headway in its campaign to scuttle a federal plan forcing it to dredge the Hudson River for pollution. U.S. EPA Administrator Christie Whitman announced in August that she would proceed with a $500 million, Clinton-era plan to order G.E. to remove the millions of pounds of PCBs it dumped into the river. The U.S. EPA was scheduled to finalize details of the plan in September, but that deadline has been extended indefinitely because of the terrorist attacks. Since the terrorist attacks, which came after the public-comment period on the plan ended, G.E. has met behind closed doors at least twice with top EPA officials. State officials and enviros say that they are being kept out of the loop and that G.E. is going over the heads of regional EPA staff to cut deals directly with Whitman’s staff. They believe that the company is lobbying the agency to set unrealistic performance standards for the cleanup that would throw the whole plan into disarray.