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Release Date: 10/28/1999
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office (617-918-1008)

BOSTON - The 60-day public comment period for the recently lodged Consent Decree and reissued RCRA Corrective Action Permit for the General Electric facility in Pittsfield began October 26, 1999 and will run through December 27, 1999.

The Consent Decree, which was lodged Oct. 7 in U.S. District Court in Springfield, specifies how many aspects of the massive PCB cleanup will be carried out, including cleanup of the Housatonic River, GE's 250-acre property in Pittsfield, filled oxbow properties, Silver Lake, Unkamet Brook, Allendale School and floodplain properties along the Housatonic. The document also outlines the natural resource damage package that GE will fund. The court must approve the document before it becomes final.

The proposed reissued RCRA permit would require GE to evaluate measures to clean up contaminated areas of the Housatonic River downstream of the river's upper two-mile reach, based on the findings from EPA's investigation and risk evaluation. The reissued permit would replace the previous RCRA permit, which addressed the investigation of the entire river as well as investigation of the GE facility, Silver Lake and some oxbows. That work is now being addressed through the Consent Decree.

EPA and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will host a series of public outreach activities and meetings to further explain the Consent Decree and new RCRA permit to Berkshire County residents including:

    • a public information meeting on the reissuance of the RCRA permit and other components of the Consent Decree on Tuesday, Nov. 16 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Berkshire Athenaeum Library Auditorium in Pittsfield.
    • a public hearing on the reissuance of the RCRA permit on Thursday, Dec. 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Pittsfield City Hall in the City Council Chambers.
    • office hours at EPA's Pittsfield office, 10 Lyman St., on Wednesday and Thursday November 3 and 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
In an effort to make the Consent Decree widely available to the public, the Consent Decree is posted on EPA's web site at Hard copies of the Consent Decree as well as other materials related to the settlement are available at the following locations in Berkshire County:


    • Berkshire County Chamber of Commerce, Pittsfield
    • Lenox Public Library, Lenox
    • Simon's Rock College of Bard, Great Barrington
    • Berkshire County Regional Planning Commission, Pittsfield
    • Berkshire Athenaeum Public Library, Pittsfield
Comments on the Consent Decree and the reissued RCRA permit should be sent to:
    • Bryan Olson U.S. EPA, One Congress St. (HBT), Boston, MA 02114 and;
    • Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice, P.O. Box 7611, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Please include: DJ #: 90-11-3-1479, 90-11-3-1479Z.