Hudson River shipwrecks contaminated

February 27, 2006

Several shipwrecks found at the bottom of the upper Hudson River in New York are contaminated with PCBs and may not be able to be recovered.

Sonar and diving teams have found up to seven boats, including one that may date to the 18th century, and some historians think some of the artifacts should be preserved, the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union reported Sunday.

A preliminary report, not yet public, suggests the artifacts be treated as part of the 2.65 million cubic yards of PCB-laden muck that is to be dredged.

Alan Steinberg, the Environmental Protection Agency's regional administrator, said at a recent community meeting that wherever possible he wanted artifacts saved.

However, some Fort Edward, N.Y., residents, who serve on a local cultural resources committee, say that -- based on a draft assessment of the river bottom's archaeology -- the message is clear that little will be pulled out of the river.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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