New Line to Protect Source Water during Hudson River Dredging

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded a subcontract to W.M. Schultz Construction, Inc, to build a four-and-a-half mile long water line from Troy, N.Y. to the towns of Waterford and Halfmoon. The water line will be used, if needed, as an alternate water source during the Hudson River dredging project.

W. M. Schultz Construction, Inc, of Ballston Spa, N.Y. was selected by Earth Tech, Inc., EPA's water line contractor, to build the water line through a competitive bidding process. The water line will carry water from the Troy reservoir, under the Hudson River, to a point near the Waterford Water Treatment Plant. The line will then extend to Halfmoon.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by April 1, 2009, before the scheduled start of dredging in May 2009. EPA is paying for the water line, which is to cost more than $6 million, with no expenses for the construction going to water consumers in the two towns. General Electric Company is expected to contribute toward the cost of the construction.

"EPA is firmly committed to making sure that public water supplies throughout the Upper Hudson are protected during dredging," said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. "We have developed a series of safeguards and contingency plans that will be in place to protect water supplies as we proceed with this important project."

Halfmoon and Waterford currently get their drinking water from water intakes in the upper Hudson River. When constructed, both towns will be able to use the new water line at their discretion. In addition to paying for the water line, EPA will pay the towns' increased costs of using the water from Troy during periods in which polychlorinated biphenyl levels in the Upper Hudson River exceed the established criteria, or when there is insufficient time to get water monitoring results before water at the dredging locations reaches water supply intakes.

For the first three years of operations, the dredging will occur more than 30 miles away from the Waterford and Halfmoon drinking water intakes. Over this distance, any PCBs that are re-suspended will be diluted with river water from other tributaries, which will reduce the concentrations of PCBs in river water that could potentially reach the Halfmoon and Waterford intakes. It should be noted that the project has been designed to keep re-suspension at a minimum. Dredging will be suspended if dredging-related PCBs in the Upper Hudson exceed the federal and state drinking water standard. Dredging will resume only after the problem has been fixed.

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