TROY, N.Y (NEWS10) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and General Electric Company (GE) will begin to investigate the lower river portion of the Hudson River PCBs Superfund site, in order to determine the next steps in addressing contamination, under a new legal agreement. Under the agreement, GE will begin to manufacture a plan for extensive water, sediment, and fish sampling between the Troy Dam and the mouth of the New York Harbor.

“The water collection work could get underway later this year. That will continue on at various locations along the lower Hudson. The primary fish collection will be next spring,” says Gary Kalwinski, Hudson River project director for the EPA. “Anything we remove from the upper Hudson will benefit the lower but really the question is now how much of the PCBs that have moved downriver have reduced which we’re monitoring as part of the upper Hudson River work because the work in the upper Hudson diminishes further downstream you get.”

While multiple contaminants will be evaluated during this investigation, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) will be the main focus. The new data collected will help develop a better plan going forward to combat contaminants and begin cleanup from a scientific standpoint. The agreement in place requires data collection to begin in early 2023. GE will also pay EPA’s costs to oversee the work.

“The sampling that GE is conducting will allow us to better understand and evaluate the conditions and potential contamination in the Lower Hudson River environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “The information will help us determine whether and how to prioritize investigations in each portion of the Lower Hudson and how to best address contamination.”

This is not the first time the area surrounding the Troy dam has been addressed by the EPA. EPA’s 2002 Record of Decision addressed the sediment in the 40-mile stretch of the Upper Hudson River between Fort Edward and Troy.