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GE misstated chemical harm to NY's Hudson River: federal trustees

The haze shrouded skyline of New York is a backdrop for a boat moving up the Hudson River in Hoboken, New Jersey August 3, 2006. REUTERS/Gar
The haze shrouded skyline of New York is a backdrop for a boat moving up the Hudson River in Hoboken, New Jersey August 3, 2006. REUTERS/Gar

(Reuters) - General Electric Co has understated or misstated the environmental harm of its chemical dumping into New York's Hudson River, federal officials alleged on Monday.

The company's recent report to New York state officials failed to mention harm done to fish, waterfowl and groundwater, the Federal Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees said in a letter to the company that the trustees made public.

The trustees said the GE report "ignores significant natural resource injuries that have already been established by the Trustees."

GE dumped toxic chemicals, in particular polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs, some 150 miles north of New York City for three decades prior to discontinuing their use in 1977. The U.S. manufacturing conglomerate has spent more than $1 billion to clean it up.

The trustees are assessing the harm caused by the PCBs in order develop a plan for restoring the natural resources along the river. A separate federal agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, is overseeing the cleanup efforts.

In an emailed statement, GE said its report "is a comprehensive and factual analysis of actual Hudson River data, including in substantial part the Trustees' own reports."

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by David Gregorio)

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