Housatonic — On the morning of May 7, more than 250 Berkshire citizens gathered on the banks of the Housatonic River to protest General Electric’s stated intent to create a landfill of toxic PCB-saturated sediment. The Environmental Protection Agency is compelling General Electric to clean up the river that it polluted for four decades from its transformer manufacturing complex in Pittsfield.
In Housatonic, the river forms Rising Pond, created by a dam at a former Rising Paper mill. Behind that dam, high concentrations of PCB sediment have collected that the EPA has ordered to be removed from the river. General Electric has filed its own plan that includes the creation of three toxic waste landfills, one in Housatonic, one in Lee, and one in Lenox.
The protesters walked south from the village center along the western shores of Rising Pond to the property where GE says it intends to create the landfill, and Edge videographer recorded the event. To view the Edgecast video report, click on link below.
In an accompanying article, the Environmental Protection Agency has reiterated that its cleanup remedy for the Housatonic River south of Pittsfield calls for PCB contaminated material to be removed to a licensed facility for remediation. There is no licensed facility to neutralize polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Massachusetts.