By The Numbers



From the 1940s through 1977, General Electric plants in upstate Washington County used the Hudson River as a dumping pool for PCBs, an insulating chemical the EPA has since labeled a “probable human carcinogen.” The resulting pollution affected the Hudson’s waters as far south as Manhattan, putting Valley residents who ate fish from the river or otherwise ingested PCBs at risk of developing neurological and reproductive problems and passing birth defects on to their children.

This month, after decades of false starts, legal tussles, and front-page headlines, General Electric is finally scheduled to begin dredging the river of PCBs. Machines with clamshell buckets will scoop contaminated soil from a 43-mile section of the river north of Troy. The PCBs will then be transported by barge to a processing center in Fort Edward (and, eventually, by rail to a disposal facility in Texas). The project is divided into two phases, both of which GE is responsible for funding. Here’s a look at how the numbers on dredging stack up:

25 Years ago the EPA first labeled the river a cleanup “priority” due to the severity of its pollution
 

4 Consecutive years the dredging has been postponed since its original 2005 “start date”
 

5,849 Times over the EPA could fill the River Pool at Beacon with contaminated sediment from the Hudson

6 Months it will take GE to complete the first phase of dredging
 

18 Months of delay between the first phase and second phase
 

90 Percentage of the cleanup left to the second phase
 

$750 million Amount the EPA estimates GE will spend on the dredging project

2015 Year, barring any further delays or lawsuits, the dredging is scheduled to end

 

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