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Post date: August 1 2001

Statement By Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Regarding The Epa Decision To Proceed With A Comprehensive Cleanup Of The Hudson River

I am very pleased with the decision of EPA Administrator Whitman to proceed with a comprehensive cleanup of PCB contamination in the Hudson River. This was obviously a difficult decision for her, but she has chosen a course that was based on sound science and that is clearly in the best interests of New Yorkers.

I am convinced that this project will result in revitalization of the river, and a resurgence of the communities bordering it. This will not occur immediately, however. Once the EPA's plans are finalized, we will face an extensive remediation phase that will require close cooperation by local, state and federal governments to minimize disruption.

When the contaminants in the river are finally removed, the entire Hudson Valley region of New York will flourish, and we will have achieved one of the great environmental comebacks in history.

It is now imperative that we move past the period of heated debate over this project, and the response of the General Electric Company will be critical. The company has spent tens of millions of dollars to generate opposition to the project. Those efforts should now be redirected in support of the most effective cleanup possible.

My office will continue to work with Administrator Whitman and the EPA to ensure that the project is properly designed, implemented and evaluated so that the cleanup project is successful.

Finally, I want to commend key elected officials, particularly Governor Pataki, and environmental advocates who remained steadfast in recent weeks in urging the Bush Administration to move forward with a comprehensive approach. Without their efforts, this decision might have been entirely different.