Hudson River Trustees Determine Injury to Groundwater

GE Hudson Falls Plant site.
GE Hudson Falls Plant site.

Hudson River Trustees Determine Injury to Groundwater

September 3, 2015

September 3, 2015

The Hudson River Natural Resource TrusteesGovernment officials acting on behalf of the public when there is injury to, destruction of, loss of, or threat to natural resources. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the State of New York) released an injury determination report finding that the tested groundwater of three New York towns is sufficiently contaminated that it exceeds groundwater standards.

The report is part of the trustees' efforts to measure natural resource injuries from General Electric's (GE) release of hazardous substances to the Hudson River from its manufacturing facilities in Hudson Falls and Fort Edward, New York. The release of hazardous substances - specifically polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBspolychlorinated biphenyls; a class of chemicals previously used in manufacturing that remain in the environment for many decades, accumulate in living creatures, and pose health hazards to humans, wildlife, and fish.) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs volatile organic compounds; a group of chemicals that evaporate or vaporize readily and are harmful to human health and the environment.) - have caused repeated and prolonged exceedances of New York State groundwater standards for both substances in Hudson Falls and Fort Edward, NY, and the exceedance of the PCB groundwater standard in Stillwater, NY.

Groundwater provides significant economic and ecological services to the public. The ability to use these services has been and continues to be severely curtailed as a result of the PCB and VOC release. With this report, trustees confirm this groundwater contamination is an injury to natural resources. This report is part of the Hudson River Natural Resource Damage Assessment.