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Rest of the River 2012

Rest of the River 2012

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Published by iBerkshires.com
Modified PCB cleanup plan for the so-called "Rest of the River," the Housatonic River south of Pittsfield, Mass.
Modified PCB cleanup plan for the so-called "Rest of the River," the Housatonic River south of Pittsfield, Mass.

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Published by: iBerkshires.com on May 26, 2012
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05/26/2012

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KEY CONTACTS:
 JIM MURPHY
U.S. EPA(617) 918-1028murphy.jim@epa.gov
DENNIS SCHAIN
CT Dept. of Energy &Environmental Protection(860) 424-3110dennis.schain@ct.gov
ED COLETTA
Mass DEP(617) 292-5737edmund.coletta@state.ma.us
BOB GRECO
MA Dept. of Fish & Game(617) 626-1556bob.greco@state.ma.us
GENERAL INFO:
EPA NEW ENGLAND
5 Post Office Sq.,Suite 100Boston, MA 02109-3912
TOLL-FREECUSTOMER SERVICE
1-888-EPA-7341
May 2012
INTRODUCTION:
EPA and the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut(collectively, the “Parties”) have been working coopera-tively for the last several months to discuss potential ap-proaches to clean up the Rest of River portion of the GEHousatonic site. These discussions have focused, in part,on the need to address the risks from polychlorinatedbiphenyls (PCBs) to humans, fish, wildlife and otherorganisms while avoiding, mitigating or minimizing theimpacts of the cleanup on the unique ecological charac-ter of the Housatonic River. This summary document re-flects the current status of the Parties’ preliminary, goodfaith efforts to discuss and identify potential remedialapproaches for the Rest of River in light of the Parties’shared goals and interests. The Parties recognize that noremedy decisions have yet been made, EPA will considerall relevant information, and any remedy proposal and allother information in the administrative record, includingthis status report, will be subject to public comment at thetime that EPA issues a proposed cleanup plan.In areas of the Housatonic River and its floodplain, PCBsin the sediment, soil and surface water pose an unac-ceptable risk to human health and/or the environment.The governmental agencies are considering a cleanupplan consisting of a combination of targeted soil and sedi-ment removal, riverbed capping, and monitored naturalrecovery as a potential means of addressing the PCBsposing the greatest threat and achieving goals such asthe following:
• reduce risks to children and adults from di
-rect contact with soil and sediment;
THE RIVER 
The Housatonic River is contaminatedwith polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other hazardoussubstances released from the General Electric Company (GE) facility in Pittsfield, MA. The entire site consists of the254-acre GE facility; the Housatonic River and its banks andfloodplains from Pittsfield, MA, to Long Island Sound; andother contaminated areas. Under a federal Consent Decree,GE is required to address contamination throughout the site,including in the River.
U.S. EPA | HOUSATONIC RIVER STATUS REPORT
Potential Remediation Approaches to the GE-Pittsfeld
-Housatonic River Site “Rest of River” PCB Contamination
continued>
LEARN MORE AT:
www.epa.gov/region1/ge
• reduce soil contamination in the floodplain to
levels which allow continued recreational usewithout unacceptable risk;
• reduce PCB concentrations in fish to levels
that allow increased consumption of fishcaught from the River in Massachusetts andConnecticut and reduce impact to affectedcommunities relying on the fish for economicconsiderations or cultural practices;
• reduce the potential movement of PCBs from
the river onto the floodplain, from the banksinto the River, and from upstream to down-stream locations, including the downstreamtransport into Connecticut;
• reduce contamination to acceptable risk for
ecological receptors (fish, wildlife, and otherorganisms) in the river, floodplain, and vernalpools;
• reduce PCB surface water and sediment con
-centrations by addressing PCB sources in sedi-ment and soil to advance future compliancewith water quality standards in Massachusettsand Connecticut and attainment of the high-est possible use of the River consistent withthe Clean Water Act; and,
• protect and preserve the unique ecological
characteristics of the Upper Housatonic Wa-tershed in conducting remedial efforts.Based upon those discussions, and EPA’s ongoing analysisof the nine criteria in the RCRA permit (subject to fur-ther information and analysis as EPA continues to review

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