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Post date: August 4 1999

Statement By Attorney General Spitzer On The Epa's Pcb Reports

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released two reports today, which document considerable cancer and non-cancer health risks and damage to wildlife associated with pollution of the Hudson River. These reports again confirm what has been known for many years -- that General Electric's discharges of PCBs have ravaged the Hudson River ecosystem.

These reports are the result of years of objective scientific investigation. I am confident that the EPA is continuing to pursue a rigorous and careful process that examines every aspect of the Hudson River PCB issue. EPA's work to date points to the common sense conclusion that the Hudson River will not be fully restored without remediation of the PCBs.

It is my intention to ensure that the company responsible for the contamination -- GE -- fulfills its responsibilities for funding a comprehensive cleanup, and that this effort minimizes any adverse effects to those living near the Hudson River. Once remediation is complete, the entire region could then experience a resurgence of recreational and tourism activity and economic growth. Ultimately, those living near the Hudson River stand to benefit the most when the specter of pervasive PCB contamination is removed.

We do not rely on the tobacco industry for objective information on the dangers of smoking. In similar fashion, it is clearly unwise to rely on GE for reliable information on the dangers of PCBs. Today's reports from the EPA provide us with a responsible base of data we can utilize to make sound decisions about PCBs in the Hudson River.

An entire generation of New Yorkers has never known a Hudson River free from industrial pollution. Without PCB remediation, public health and the unique ecological resources of the Hudson River will remain in jeopardy.