General Electric objects to $613 million Housatonic River cleanup plan

General Electric Co. objects to a new federal plan that would force it to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to clean the river.
General Electric Co. objects to a new federal plan that would force it to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to clean the river. –Matthew Cavanaugh / The Boston Globe, file

General Electric Co. has opposed a federal plan that would force the company to spend $613 million dollars to remove toxic chemicals from the Housatonic River, reports The Boston Globe.

The company, which is moving its headquarters from Fairfield, Conn. to Boston, polluted the Housatonic River for nearly 50 years, reports the Globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants GE to spend about $613 million to remove polychlorinated biphenyls, toxic chemicals known as PCBs, from the river. The company dumped the PCBs, which were banned by the federal government in 1979, into the river between the 1930s and 1970s, reports the Globe.

The company, in a letter to the EPA last month, argued it should be exempt from state hazardous waste regulations.

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“GE is committed to a common-sense solution for the Housatonic that is fully protective of human health and the environment and avoids unnecessary destruction of the surrounding ecosystem,’’ said General Electric in a statement to Boston.com. “We have spent over $500 million on environmental projects in Pittsfield, including the cleanup of the first two miles of the River and the former GE plant-site, and have repeatedly stated that we would undertake the right dredging project.’’

Read the full story in the Globe.

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