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Superfund Sites: General Electric: Pittsfield, MA

General Electric: Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Where: The banks of the Housatonic River; northern Berkshire County

When: Contamination began in the 1930s

What happened? For decades, General Electric manufactured transformers that contained chemical compounds known as PCBs. These chemicals contaminated the surrounding area and the river until the EPA banned PCBs in 1979. Cleanup efforts have been underway ever since.


The closed General Electric Plant on the banks of the Housatonic River. Image retrieved from

Recent News


Sweep it Under the River: Berkshire County's Battle with GE Over the Housatonic River Cleanup Continues

"Under the cleanup, GE's being allowed to leave a whole lot of PCBs behind," says Karns. "They're not being required to clean up all of the area to what really is the scientific standard. They're getting away with murder anyway. They shouldn't be allowed to then create a landfill on top of that."



Trump's push to cut EPA shouldn't affect 'Rest of River' Housatonic cleanup plan

LENOX - Despite the sharp cutbacks in the Environmental Protection Agency's budget, staff and programs proposed by the White House last week, the EPA's Rest of River cleanup of the Housatonic by General Electric Co. remains on track for a ...



Timeline: GE's Housatonic Cleanup Has Dragged on for Decades

The Housatonic River in Massachusetts and Connecticut has been polluted by suspected human carcinogen - and known cancer-causing agent in animals - since the 1930s when GE used the lubricant during transformer manufacturing at its Pittsfield plant. And the area has been fighting with the company ever since to get the issue resolved.



EPA upholds $613 million Housatonic River cleanup plan, tells GE it must truck toxic PCBs out of state

BOSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week upheld a federal court order requiring General Electric to truck tons of PCB waste dredged from the Housatonic River to a licensed out-of-state facility.




General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt on Housatonic River cleanup: 'We've done more dredging than any other company on earth'

General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt defended his company when a reporter's question turned to the polluted Housatonic River. GE, which is moving to Boston, once had facilities in Pittsfield. The company's departure economically devastated the city and left its toxins in the Housatonic River.