Even as it is carrying out the project, the company has a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Superfund law itself working its way through federal court. (The company is a responsible party at a total of 52 active Superfund sites, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.)
Spokesmen for G.E. say the intention is to clean the stains to the river and defend the environmental actions of the company, which these days is casting itself as a leading innovator with its Ecomagination line of products.
“General Electric has earned a well-deserved black-eye for dumping 1.3 million pounds of PCBs into the river and then spending three decades refusing to clean it up,” said Alex Matthiessen, one of several environmental campaigners at the ceremony and the executive director of Riverkeeper, a group fighting industrial polluters on the river. “With a full and comprehensive cleanup, G.E. may yet earn some measure of redemption for the damage it caused.”