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Release Date: 10/08/1998
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office (617-918-1008)

BOSTON -The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, General Electric and other negotiating parties have agreed on key details for putting into action the comprehensive agreement announced last month for cleanup of PCB contamination in the Housatonic River and Berkshire County.

The details, outlined in a 10-page summary, specify how numerous aspects of last month's historic agreement will work, including the cleanup plan for the Housatonic River, the cleanup and redevelopment of GE's 250-acre property in Pittsfield and the natural resource damage package that GE has agreed to fund. The summary also outlines cleanup plans for Silver Lake, Unkamet Brook, Allendale School and floodplain properties along the Housatonic River.

"This document is another major step forward for the environmental and economic restoration of Pittsfield and southern Berkshire County," said John P. DeVillars, administrator of the EPA's New England Office.

"We can now begin the hard work of turning this document into the reality of of a cleaner, more prosperous Berkshire County," DeVillars said. "That process will require listening, learning and close collaboration with the community. Public participation has been an important part of our work over the past year and it will continue to be a key element as we move forward."

DeVillars said the Citizens Coordinating Council, which will include leaders from Berkshire County's political, environmental, community and business sectors, will be an important mechanism to ensure such public input in the coming months.

EPA will also be holding numerous public meetings in the next several weeks to discuss the agreement. EPA staff has already begun meeting informally with numerous environmental, business and political leaders to explain the agreement and answer questions. Additional meetings will be held later this month.

EPA will mail 4,000 copies of the summary agreement to area residents late this week. Copies of the agreement also are available at Pittsfield City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce and Housatonic River Initiative offices in Pittsfield. Copies can also be obtained by calling the EPA's Customer Call Center at 1-888-372-7341. Copies also are available on EPA's web site at