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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

NY lawmakers demand EPA dredge Hudson River again

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Friday, February 23, 2024   

New York lawmakers are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to keep dredging the Hudson River.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., sent a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, asking him to accept findings the agency's earlier dredging efforts failed.

Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, dumped into the river by General Electric are still high, making the water hazardous for nearby municipalities using it as a primary drinking water source.

Ned Sullivan, president of the nonprofit Scenic Hudson, worries about the health effects of the chemicals.

"It is associated with cancer, neurological and respiratory disorders," Sullivan outlined. "The primary pathway for human exposure is eating fish. This is a big deal, because there are people who are continuing to subsist on Hudson River fish."

The EPA has warned against eating fish caught in the river between Troy and Hudson Falls. An assessment by the group Friends of a Clean Hudson River found current sediment recovery rates will not allow for natural recovery in fish. General Electric completed two of three sediment collection programs last year. A third program, to collect deeper samples, takes place this year.

Other agencies have accepted the dredging failed. In 2015, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported General Electric did not do enough dredging. Sullivan contended the primary reason previous efforts failed is they were not extensive enough.

"Even before the cleanup was undertaken, it was known and public that there was roughly twice the amount of contamination that the cleanup plan was based on," Sullivan pointed out.

Once the EPA accepts the findings, the agency can examine different options for remediating the river, which will most likely be more dredging. However, Sullivan added it could change with emerging technologies.


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