EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez has a once in a century opportunity to rid the Hudson of the scourge of cancer-causing PCBs that ended the river's commercial fishing industry and continues to make fish unsafe to eat along the 200-mile Superfund site from Fort Edward to the New York-New Jersey Harbor. The first step is to acknowledge the dredging of the upper Hudson performed by General Electric fails to achieve its fundamental objective required by law – to protect human health and the environment. Following this finding, he should refuse to give G.E. the release from liability for additional cleanup it has requested.

Gov. Cuomo authorized his Environmental Commissioner Basil Seggos to perform extensive sampling of PCBs in the Hudson, whose results back up calls for additional dredging by New York and the federal trustees (U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). To his credit, Lopez has publicly pledged to examine the data and to partner with New York officials in interpreting it, while also considering the views of the trustee agencies in whether to grant G.E. a release from liability.

The future of the Hudson depends on his fulfilling this pledge through a true federal-state partnership. The public will applaud him for demonstrating that government agencies can effectively collaborate in their missions. The health of our waters, residents and economy will be the beneficiaries.

Ned Sullivan