General Electric said Thursday it will soon complete a 500-million-dollar toxic waste cleanup project in New York's Hudson river to settle a decades-old battle with US environmental authorities.
The giant industrial conglomerate said it had informed the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it will complete the second and final phase of the Hudson riverbed dredging project in late Spring 2011.
It said it had set aside 500 million dollars for the project and that it "expects this step will resolve future uncertainty regarding Hudson dredging liabilities."
The battle goes back to the late 1970s, when US authorities banned a carcinogenic chemical -- polychlorinated biphenyls -- which was used extensively in a GE plant along the Hudson.
The chemical contaminated a 200-mile stretch of the river, but GE and the EPA argued over the extent of the cleanup and GE's responsibility.
"GE has consistently said it wanted to complete the dredging and now looks forward to doing so under terms that achieve the scientific objectives of dredging in a practical and cost-effective way," Ann Klee, vice president of GE's environmental programs, said in a statement.
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