THE RED CROW PCB CHRONICLES
Red Crow reporters and commentators have been covering the on-going saga of GE, PCBs and Berkshire County, Massachusetts for several decades.
Here is an ever-changing compendium of stories/comments:
David Scribner has compiled a chronology of stories and events assembled from articles in local and regional media. They are highlights of the PCB legacy in Berkshire County
GE distributes dollars to influence river debate
May 4, 2011
By David Scribner
Illustrations by Honora Toole
On a spring morning, the 262-acre Audubon Society wildlife refuge known as Canoe Meadows is bustling with activity.
Redwing blackbirds cling to tawny cattail stalks, clucking a warning as hikers stride by. Pairs of ducks swim companionably in the broad, dark arc of the Housatonic River that coils through the conservation area. Even the spring peepers, not yet exhausted from a night of screeching debauchery, are still calling to each other.
Mickey Friedman’s Tell GE: more is more:
It’s David vs. Goliath time once again. GE vs. the fish, the birds, the animals and us.
GE has just issued its Corrective Measures Study (CMS). Having been forced by the United States EPA to clean up a two-mile section of the Housatonic River, GE was tasked with coming up with a plan to clean up the “Rest of the River” south of Pittsfield. 1200 pages of highly technical scenarios and charts which explain why GE should leave its highly toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the river.
It’s the best GE study I’ve read so far. There’s even a poetic touch to it:
Dredge or Die!
Jess had an extra shot of espresso that she added to my morning coffee at Fuel, so that might be the cause of some of the extra passion I’m bringing to this issue. But maybe not.
PCBs are polychlorinated biphenyls, a man-made chemical that was at once marvelous and diabolical. PCBs, a heavy oil that does not conduct electricity, were used in electrical transformers and capacitors, in carbonless paper, in fluorescent light fixtures, in caulking, and even for a brief while in chewing gum. Before 1929, there wasn’t a single PCB anywhere on Earth; today there is not a human being walking the Earth who doesn’t have PCBs in his or her body.