posted by
Property Rights Foundation of America®

22d District, New York

Official Letterhead - Congress of the United States, House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515-3222

February 27, 2001

Ms. Carol W. LaGrasse
PO Box 75
Stony Creek, New York 12878-0075

Dear Ms. LaGrasse:

Thank you for your letter regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to order the dredging and landfilling of PCBs from the Hudson River. I certainly share your views on this issue.

Unfortunately, the EPA's recent announcement that it intends to order the dredging of 2.6 million cubic yards of sediment from the Hudson River raises more questions than answers. Where and how will the 100,000 truckloads of toxic sediment be transported? Where will toxic PCB treatment facilities be located? Will the non-toxic portion of the dredged material be deposited in local landfills? Is the five-year timetable for the dredging operation realistic, given experiences in similar, smaller projects? The EPA must address the serious disposal issues and their effects on our communities prior to moving ahead with the dredging project in our region.

Dredging is a drastic cleanup method that has the potential to create even greater environmental hazards to the river's delicate ecosystem. That is why I have urged the EPA to incorporate the recently issued recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on the risks of dredging. The NAS report states that the "paramount consideration for PCB-sediment sites should be management of overall risks to humans and the environment rather than the selection of a remediation," such as dredging. In response to a post-briefing question, the NAS Committee Chairman, John W. Farrington, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, stated that the dredging of hot spots in one affected area of the river could result in migration of PCBs and the creation of new hot spots down river. I have consistently said that sound science should guide our path and that I cannot support any proposal that does more environmental harm than good.

Once again, I appreciate your support on this important issue. Should you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office.

Sincerely, John E. Sweeney, Member of Congress (actual signature)

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