By Stuart Kallen

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Editor’s Note: While the definition of a primary source can be narrowly or broadly defined, for the purposes of Compact Research, a primary source consists of: 1) results of original research presented by an organization or researcher; 2) eyewitness accounts of events, personal experience, or work experience; 3) first-person editorials offering pundits’ opinions; 4) government officials presenting political plans and/or policies; 5) representatives of organizations presenting testimony or policy.

The Hudson River and PCBs In 2009 the EPA began working with GE to clean up a highly polluted Superfund site where PCBs were dumped in the Hudson River for decades. The toxic waste in the river flows past New York City and into the Atlantic Ocean, making the Hudson one of the highest-profile Superfund cleanup efforts in the nation. The EPA calls the Hudson cleanup a major success story. But the effort has been a bitter, decades-long battle between environmentalists, General Electric, GE workers, politicians, and the EPA.

In 2007 the Center for Public Integrity released results of an investigation showing that the amount of money the EPA recovered from those companies has significantly declined since 2000. The investigation found that recovered costs peaked in 1998 and 1999, at about $320 million each year. By 2006, the collected recoveries had dropped well below the $100 million mark. The Superfund sometimes pays for cleanups, which will be paid back later by responsible parties. “Cost recovery” has been declining.

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Toxic Waste by Stuart Kallen
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