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EPA to Hold Information Meeting on the Next Phase of Cleanup of the 1 Mile Reach of the Housatonic River

Release Date: 09/19/2003
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Community Involvement Office, 617-918-1064

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be holding a public information meeting on Tuesday, September 30, at the Berkshire Athenaeum Library in Pittsfield, MA to discuss the ongoing cleanup of the 1 Mile Reach of the Housatonic River. An open house from 6:30- 7:00 pm. will be followed by a public information meeting from 7:00 - 8:30 pm.

For the next phase of the cleanup, EPA will be redirecting the river so that work can be performed under relatively dry conditions between Elm Street and Dawes Avenue. A dam has been constructed above Elm Street. The river will be channeled through a by-pass system consisting of two 54-inch diameter pipes that have been placed on the riverbed. The water will be discharged just downstream of Dawes Avenue.

EPA is currently completing excavation work on the stretch of the river from Lyman Street to Elm Street. In all, EPA anticipates approximately 30,000 cubic yards sediment and soil will have been removed during this phase of the project. The project also includes reconstructing the river bottom by placing clean fill and riprap (rocks) along the bottom, and replanting the river bank with hundreds of native trees and shrubs.

The second phase of work, from Elm Street to Dawes Avenue, will begin when the previous section of the river is complete.

At the meeting, EPA representatives will discuss the upcoming work in more detail. Construction activities in the reach between Elm Street and Dawes Avenue will be more visible than in the upstream area.

The cleanup of the 1 Mile Reach is part of the Consent Decree negotiated in 2000 between EPA, General Electric and other government agencies.

Additional information on the GE Pittsfield / Housatonic River site, can be found on EPA's web site at: