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The Latest: Cuomo slams environment agency on Hudson cleanup

ALBANY, N.Y. — The Latest on the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision not to compel General Electric to restart dredging in the Hudson River (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has failed to hold General Electric accountable for cleaning up the Hudson River.

The EPA on Thursday declined to compel Boston-based GE to restart dredging in the Hudson River. The federal agency issued a certificate to GE that it completed its remedial action under the federal Superfund program.

Cuomo and fellow Democrat Attorney General Letitia James say New York state intends to sue the EPA over its decision. They claim levels of the contaminant PCB remain unacceptably high in the riverbed and in fish.

EPA Regional Administrator Peter Lopez stressed that GE can still be compelled in the coming decades to do more work, including additional dredging.

Cuomo says the Trump Administration is putting corporations’ interests ahead of public health and the environment.

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10:25 a.m.

The Environmental Protection Agency has declined to compel General Electric to restart dredging in the Hudson River, despite calls from New York officials and environmentalists.

EPA Regional Administrator Peter Lopez said Thursday more time and testing are needed to fully assess GE’s $1.7 billion Hudson River cleanup. The federal agency issued a certificate to Boston-based GE that it completed its remedial action under the Superfund cleanup.

But Lopez said the certificate does not leave Boston-based GE “off the hook” for more work if the EPA later concludes additional cleanup is needed.

Critics had urged the EPA to withhold the certificate, saying river PCB levels remain too high.

GE completed removal of 2.75 million cubic yards (2.1 million cubic meters) of PCB-contaminated river sediment north of Albany in 2015.

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9:20 a.m.

The Environmental Protection Agency says more time is needed to assess General Electric’s $1.7 billion Hudson River cleanup, and it’s not calling for more dredging at this time.

The federal agency said on Thursday it issued a certificate to Boston-based GE that it completed its remedial action under the Superfund cleanup. But the agency said more monitoring of the river and the fish is needed to judge the cleanup’s effectiveness.

Many New York officials and environmentalists had urged the EPA to withhold the certificate, saying river PCB levels remain too high.

GE completed removal of 2.75 million cubic yards (2.1 million cubic meters) of PCB-contaminated river sediment north of Albany in 2015.

The EPA says GE could potentially be compelled to conduct additional dredging if future river conditions warrant.

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1 a.m.

The Environmental Protection Agency is poised to make an announcement on General Electric’s $1.7 billion Hudson River cleanup.

Regional Administrator Pete Lopez is slated to discuss the Superfund cleanup with reporters Thursday morning. Last week, New York’s top environmental official said the federal government was about to announce Boston-based GE met its cleanup goal, despite opposition from environmentalists and state officials.

Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos told the Albany Times Union editorial board that his office has been in contact with the EPA over a potential finding that GE’s dredging satisfies a 2002 agreement with regulators. The “certificate of completion” could absolve GE of further liability for polychlorinated biphenyls in the river.

Seggos, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a number of environmental groups believe PCB levels remain too high.

The Associated Press