Public Meetings Set On Housatonic River Cleanup StatusEnvironmental Protection Agency
10:10AM / Wednesday, May 16, 2012
LENOX, Mass. — The federal Environmental Protection Agency and the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut will be holding public meetings in both states next week to discuss next steps for the potential cleanup of the Housatonic River in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut.
EPA and the states have been working cooperatively for the last several months to discuss potential approaches to clean up the so-called "Rest of River" portion of the Housatonic River contaminated with pollutants from General Electric's former Pittsfield facility. These discussions have focused, in part, on the need to address the risks from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to humans, fish, wildlife and other organisms while avoiding, mitigating or minimizing the impacts of the cleanup on the unique ecological character of the Housatonic River.
Prior to the meetings, EPA and the states will release a document called the "Status Report of Preliminary Discussions of Potential Remediation Approaches to the GE-Housatonic River Site 'Rest of River' PCB Contamination."
This summary document, which recognizes that no remedy decisions have yet been made, reflects the current status of EPA and the states' efforts to discuss and identify potential remedial approaches for the Rest of River in light of their shared goals and interests. The summary report, which will be available on EPA's web page on Friday, May 18, will be the topic of the public meetings.
The Connecticut meeting will be on Wednesday, May 23, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Housatonic Valley Regional High School, 246 Warren Turnpike Road, Falls Village. The Massachusetts meeting will be held on Thursday, May 24, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School, 197 East St.
Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office, will be joined at the May 23 Connecticut meeting by Macky McCleary, deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Kenneth Kimmell, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Mary Griffin will join Spalding at the meeting in Lenox on May 24.
More information on EPA's work to clean up contamination in the Housatonic River, go here.The status report will be posted at this site as well on Friday, May 18.