WASHINGTON (AP) -- Left with few options, General Electric Co. appears willing to go along with an order from the Environmental Protection Agency demanding the dredging of tons of toxic PCBs from the Hudson River.
"While GE does not believe that dredging is the right approach for the river or the upper river communities, EPA has the ultimate authority under law to select the cleanup plan," spokesman Mark Behan said. He said GE wanted to play "a constructive role" in the process.
On Friday, EPA Administrator Christie Whitman signed the final record of decision, making official the plan that was first put forth 14 months ago by the Clinton administration. The cleanup along a 40-mile stretch of the Hudson River north of Albany, N.Y., is one of the largest such dredging operations ever.
GE opposes the dredging, which would cost it some $500 million. The company says that dredging sediment could stir up the PCBs from the river bed and into the moving river water, making the problem worse.
GE dumped 1.3 million pounds of PCBs into the river from its plants in Fort Edward and Hudson Falls, N.Y., north of Albany, before the federal government banned the substance in 1977.
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