September 20, 1996
Weld Calls for EPA Superfund Designation of Housatonic River
Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld called on U.S. E
nvironmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator John
DeVillars to begin the process of placing the Housatonic River, from the General Electric facility in Pittsfield to Rising Pond dam
in Great Barrington, on the National Priorities List (NPL). Weld made the request in an August 29 letter to DeVillars.
Study of PCB contamination in the Housatonic has been under way for
20 years but no clean up is anticipated until 2001 under
the current timetable. PCB contamination has been linked to GE manufacturing on the river since the 1950s and covers over a
dozen sites in and along the river including as many as 150 residential properties along the river flood plain. PCBs have been
found in Pittsfield, Lee, Lenox and downriver into Connecticut.
The current clean up effort will continue for a 200 acre GE site in
Pittsfield pending the completion of a redevelopment plan for
the site, under the state's "Brownfields" program. Governor Weld's Undersecretary of Environmental Affairs, Leo Roy, has been
leading the intergovernmental team working on the remediation and restoration of the natural resources. The team, which is
seeking a comprehensive settlement with GE, includes US EPA, the MA Department of Environmental Protection, the MA
Attorney General's office, MA Fish and Wildlife, the CT Department of Environmental Protection, the CT Attorney General's
office, US Dept. of the Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the US
Dept. of Justice.
Federal Register Notice: September 25, 1997
The General Electric (GE)
- Housatonic River site is located in Pittsfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts,
extending along the river from the GE facility in Pittsfield to Woods Pond in Lenox. The site consists of waste
sources at the GE facility in Pittsfield, other areas in Pittsfield where polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) wastes from the
GE facility have been disposed, and soils contaminated by the migration of GE wastes via the Housatonic River. The
site has been evaluated based on six waste source areas.
October 7, 1998
Summary of Agreement General Electric/Pittsfield -
Housatonic River Sites
On September 24, 1998, representatives of U.S. EPA, U.S.
Department of Justice, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Department of Environmental Protection, Office of the Attorney
General and Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, the State
of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and
Office of the Attorney General, the U.S. Department of Interior,
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the City of
Pittsfield, and the General Electric Company reached a
comprehensive agreement relating to GE's Pittsfield facility and the
Housatonic River. The agreement in principle provides for cleanup
of the Housatonic River and associated areas, cleanup and
economic redevelopment of the GE Plant Facility, environmental
restoration of the River, compensation for natural resource
damages, and government recovery of past and future response
October 23, 1999
CONNECTICUT RIVER EAGLE FESTIVAL
EAGLE-VIEWING BOAT TOURS
An environmental success story, bald eagles have been returning to the
lower Connecticut River each winter in growing
numbers. For the past several years, hundreds of people have been flocking to Essex during the winter months to take guided
boat tours up the lower Connecticut River to see these spectacular birds firsthand.
Now, for the first time in New England, there will be a special weekend
festival to celebrate the remarkable return of wintering
bald eagles to this region. The Connecticut River Eagle Festival will feature many fun and interesting environmental activities
encouraging people to view and learn more about these birds that are so much a part of our American heritage. The
Connecticut River Eagle Festival will be held on February 19 & 20, 2000 in Essex, Connecticut. The event is presented by the
Connecticut Audubon Society and sponsored by Select Energy.