Dam Destruction Releases PCB Pollution into the Hudson

1973 CEHudson River

“Although PCBs have come into the Hudson from many sources, the chief source of contamination is two General Electric capacitor plants near Fort Edward. These plants released perhaps 90,000–600,000 kilograms (200,000–1,300,000 pounds) of mixed PCBs into the upper Hudson between the 1940s and the 1970s . . . Much of this material accumulated in the soft sediments behind the Fort Edward Dam (the first dam downstream of the plants). Most unfortunately, this dam was demolished in 1973, just a year or two before people discovered how badly the Hudson and its biota were contaminated, which allowed the PCBs to be carried throughout much of the upper Hudson.”

Strayer, David L.. The Hudson Primer : The Ecology of an Iconic River (1). Berkeley, US: University of California Press, 2011.

New York State Museum. The Present Dam at Fort Edward. Digital image. Annual Report of the Regents - New York State Museum. 58th (1904), v. 2. N.p., 1904. Web.