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EPA, Massachusetts and Connecticut Host Public Meetings on Housatonic River Status

Release Date: 05/15/2012
Contact Information: Jim Murphy, (617) 918-1028 or (617) 721-2868 (cell)

(Boston, Mass. – May 15, 2012) – EPA and the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut  will be holding public meetings in both states next week to discuss next steps for the potential clean up of the Housatonic River in western Massachusetts and Connecticut.

EPA and the states have been working cooperatively for the last several months to discuss potential approaches to clean up the Rest of River portion of the Housatonic River contaminated with pollutants from General Electric’s former Pittsfield, Mass. facility.  These discussions have focused, in part, on the need to address the risks from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to humans, fish, wildlife and other organisms while avoiding, mitigating or minimizing the impacts of the clean up on the unique ecological character of the Housatonic River.

Prior to the meetings, EPA and the states will release a document called the “Status Report of Preliminary Discussions of Potential Remediation Approaches to the GE-Housatonic River Site “Rest of River” PCB Contamination.”  This summary document, which recognizes that no remedy decisions have yet been made, reflects the current status of EPA and the states’ efforts to discuss and identify potential remedial approaches for the Rest of River in light of their shared goals and interests.  The summary report, which will be available on EPA’s web page on Friday, May18, will be the topic of the public meetings.

The Connecticut meeting will be on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at Housatonic Valley Regional High School, 246 Warren Turnpike Road, Falls Village, Conn. The Massachusetts meeting will be held on Thursday, May 24, 2012 from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. at the Lenox Memorial Middle and High School, 197 East Street, Lenox, Mass.

Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office, will be joined at the May 23 Connecticut meeting by Macky McCleary, Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Kenneth Kimmell, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game Commissioner, Mary Griffin will join Curt Spalding at the meeting in Lenox on May 24.

More information on EPA’s work to clean up contamination in the Housatonic River
(
http://www.epa.gov/region1/ge/) - on Friday, 5/18 this site will also contain the document referenced above.

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