Hudson PCB levels spike again

A testing site recorded another spike in the level of PCBs in the Hudson River on Thursday, Aug. 6, according to information from the Environmental Protection Agency, but dredging will continue unless a second test confirms the results.

A testing site at the Thompson Island Dam registered an average reading of 528 parts per trillion, over the 500 ppt threshold that the EPA maintains is a safe level. The samples were gathered between Wednesday, Aug. 5, at 6 a.m. and Thursday at 6 a.m. The second set of samples is being analyzed today.

Downriver, the communities of Halfmoon and Waterford have been buying water from Troy since the dredging began in mid-May. The EPA has agreed to pay for the alternative water only when PCB levels exceed the 500 ppt threshold.

The Thompson Island Dam testing sitewhich is near Fort Edward, where the dredging is taking placeregistered similar PCB levels over the past weekend. Dredging operations were suspended because of a fast moving river, which officials also attributed to the spike in PCB levels.

If the second test reveals heightened levels, dredging will be suspended until the situation is resolved.

GE is being directed to dredge PCBs, thought to be a carcinogen, out of the Hudson by the federal government. The company dumped the chemicals into the river for three decades.

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