NOAA Scientists Publish Paper Predicting Prolonged Contamination of Fish at the Hudson River Superfund Site
March 29, 2016
The Hudson River Superfund site has been contaminated with millions of pounds of toxic polychlorinated 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. since the 1940s. At 200 miles long, it is one of NOAA's largest natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) cases. Remedial dredging removed more than twice the mass of PCBs than anticipated, but significant amounts of PCB remain in the river.
NOAA recently published a modeling analysis that incorporated updated data on higher sediment concentrations and slower rates of natural recovery in the Upper Hudson. The analysis indicated that post-dredging fish in the Lower Hudson will remain contaminated with PCBs above human health consumption thresholds for decades longer than predicted under the remedy. The study results, published in Science of the Total Environment, will be incorporated into the NRDA to ensure that the public is appropriately compensated. A fact sheet providing additional details is also available.