Cleanup call

hudson river, flowing through many us cities, will soon be depolluted. The us Environmental Protection Agency (epa) recently gave a nod to a massive dredging project aimed at removing around 2.02 million cubic metres of contaminated sediments from a 64 kilometre section of the river.

For decades, the epa has been trying in vain to make General Electric (ge), who deposited polychlorinated biphenyls (pcbs) while manufacturing electric capacitors, shoulder responsibility for cleaning pcbs from the river in vain. With the project being approved, General Electric will have to spend an estimated us $500 million towards the cleaning up of the river. Earlier, the company had spent millions of dollars to advertise and make the federal officials believe that the cleanup was unnecessary and environmentally risky. The company says that the plan is a loss for the people of the area, who overwhelmingly oppose this project and the decades of disruption it will bring to their communities. It also argues that the epa's plan would resuspend pcbs now buried in river sediments, thereby releasing additional toxins into the environment.

epa administrator Christie Whitman says that the agency has taken the next step towards cleaning up the Hudson by forwarding a Record of Decision to the state of New York. The state will now review the dredging project. Green groups are seconding epa's plan.

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