hudson river pcbs


The Hudson River PCBs site includes the approximately 200-mile stretch of the Hudson River from Hudson Falls to the Battery in New York City. The Upper Hudson River, an approximately 40-mile reach of the river from Hudson Falls to Troy, in Washington, Saratoga and Rensselaer Counties, is the reach that has been selected for remediation. The General Electric Company discharged between 209,000 and 1.3 million pounds of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into the river from two capacitor manufacturing plants located in Hudson Falls and Fort Edward. The PCBs from these discharges contaminated the sediments of the Upper Hudson River. Also included in the site are five remnant deposits, which are river sediments that were exposed when the level of the river was lowered due to the removal of the Fort Edward Dam, in 1973. In 1976, because of the concern over the bioaccumulation of PCBs in fish and other aquatic organisms and their subsequent consumption by people, the State of New York banned fishing in the Upper Hudson River and commercial fishing of striped bass, and several other species, in the Lower Hudson. In August 1995, the Upper Hudson was re-opened to fishing, but only on a catch and release basis. Albany, the largest city in the basin, has a population of more than 100,000 people; the Town of Fort Edward has a population of 6,480. Land uses in the Hudson River Basin include agriculture, service, and manufacturing, in addition to residential. The Hudson River is an important source of hydroelectric power, public water supplies, transportation, and recreation. The Cities of Waterford, Poughkeepsie, and Rhinebeck, as well as the Highland and Port Ewen Water Districts obtain their water supplies directly from the Hudson River. In addition, a water intake near Chelsea, which is north of Beacon, may be used to supplement New York City's water supply during periods of drought. The Town of Waterford and Town of Halfmoon obtain water from the Upper Hudson River, and are the only municipal water supply intakes below Fort Edward and above the Troy Dam. The Hudson River has been designated an American Heritage River because of its important role in American history and culture. Site Responsibility: This site is being addressed through a combination of Federal and potential responsible party actions

Hazardous Ranking Score

55 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 2
Phone: (877) 251-4575

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


        African American
        American Indian and Alaska Native
        Native Hawaiian


        People living
        within a 1 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

        Potentially Responsible Parties

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