Curt Spalding, Administrator for EPA's
New England Region (Region 1)
While laying the blame squarely where it belongs, Curt Spalding, regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, laid out the mandate that cleaning up Massachusett’s Housatonic River had to be done right, the first time.
He referred to how industrialization in the region caused the area to lose a lot. “The rivers, not just this river, were contaminated, the land was contaminated. We need to build prosperity for the 21st century and beyond,” he said at a meeting of sportsmen, environmentalists and concerned residents.
For decades polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) were simply dumped into the rivers by GE and the community was focusing on cleaning up the stretch of the river from south of Pittsfield, to Connecticut. That’s about a 10-mile stretch.
The three options in consideration at the meeting included monitored natural recovery, in-situ capping and environmental dredging. The first option means doing nothing and letting the river restore itself. The second involves putting a layer of clay over the contaminated sediment which is a quicker than doing nothing and is the most cost effective fast approach. The third means removing the contaminants with the attendant problem of getting rid of them once they are removed from the riverbed. GE is paying the bill and favors the first approach.
Here’s the whole story.