Rest of River Committee to enter into mediation

By Joel Williams

The Rest of River Municipal Committee will be formally entering into mediation with General Electric to resolve issues surrounding the cleanup of the Housatonic River watershed.

“The EPA has strongly suggested to the five communities involved, that is Lee, Lenox, Stockbridge, Great Barrington and Sheffield, that we enter into a non-binding mediation of outstanding issues with General Electric,” Steve Shatz said, Stockbridge’s representative on the committee, as well as a member of the town’s finance committee.

The key issue to be resolved, Shatz said, is in regards to the dump site for potentially carcinogenic PCBs, which GE had disposed of in the Housatonic River for decades before the chemicals were outlawed in 1979 by a federal ban.

General Electric has been pushing for local dump sites, in Housatonic and Lee, as they say it would save them approximately $250 million in removal costs.

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