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Sat, Feb

PCB Shift Forces G.E. to Suspend Hudson River Dredging

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General Electric has temporarily suspended dredging for contaminants in the upper Hudson River after water samples showed that chemicals from the cleanup had traveled several miles downstream.

General Electric has temporarily suspended dredging for contaminants in the upper Hudson River after water samples showed that chemicals from the cleanup had traveled several miles downstream.

The Environmental Protection Agency ordered the dredging, normally carried out six days a week, to be stopped on Friday, but it could resume as soon as Tuesday afternoon, said Kristen Skopeck, a spokeswoman for the agency.

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Water tests conducted about five miles south of Fort Edward in Washington County, where most of the dredging is under way, showed that levels of the chemicals known as PCBs exceeded water quality standards.

The E.P.A. said it was reviewing efforts by General Electric, which is overseeing the cleanup, to keep PCB levels down elsewhere in the river. That may involve steps like limiting the number of dredges operating at the same time and using silt curtains, made of mesh fabric, to keep the sediment disturbed by the dredging in the same area, Ms. Skopeck said.

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