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Hudson River Natural Resource Damage Assessment

The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees- the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), and New York State (the Trustees) - are continuing to determine how polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) released from the General Electric Company (GE) plants at Fort Edward and Hudson Falls, New York harm the natural resources of the Hudson River and the surrounding ecosystem.

The Trustees' goal is to represent the interest of the public by measuring how much harm has been caused by PCBs, and determining how much restoration is necessary to address this harm. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) authorizes the EPA to oversee hazardous substance remediation, and authorizes Natural Resource Trustees to conduct Natural Resource Damage Assessments (NRDA). Through CERCLA, Congress holds polluters responsible for cleaning up hazardous substances and compensating the public for harm caused by these releases. At the Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site, both remediation and damage assessment efforts are currently ongoing.

NRDA has three main phases:

  1. Preliminary Assessment - A review of existing information to determine if an NRDA is necessary. The Hudson River Trustees completed this in 1997.
  2. Injury Assessment/Restoration Planning - Conduct studies to document what resources have injured by a contaminant, in this case PCBs, and what restoration needs to be conducted to compensate for those injuries.
  3. Restoration Implementation - Once the case is resolved and funds are available, the Trustees, with the help of public input, select restoration projects to be implemented.

The Hudson River Trustees are currently in the Injury Assessment/Restoration Planning phase of the Hudson River damage assessment. This phase can take many years.

Restoration is the primary goal of the NRDA process, but the final phase of restoration implementation can only begin after the case is resolved and the responsible part, in this case GE, provides the funds for restoration to compensate the public for injured fish and wildlife resources.

Learn more about the NRDA process and the Hudson River NRDA here in the Hudson River Natural Resource Damage Assessment Plan (PDF). Learn more about the Hudson NRDA restoration planning process here.

Join the Hudson-NRDA Listserv To Learn About Restoring The Hudson River

The trustees have established a listserv to provide updates on the assessment and restoration efforts for the Hudson River. If you choose to join the Hudson-NRDA listserv, you will receive e-mail updates about the Hudson NRDA every three to five months.

To add yourself to the Hudson-NRDA listserv:

  1. Send a message to:
  2. Write in the subject: Subscribe hudsonnrda
  3. You will receive a confirmation e-mail to which you must reply within 24 hours.

For additional information, please contact one of the representatives listed below. If you cannot find the publication you are interested in, please call our office at 518-402-8971 for assistance.

Sean Madden
Natural Resource Damages Unit
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4756
Phone: 518-402-8977
Fax: 518-402-9027

Thomas Brosnan
Damage Assessment Center
1305 East-West Highway
SSMC4 Rm 10218
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (301) 713-3038 x 186
Fax: (301) 713-4387

Kathryn Jahn
US Fish & Wildlife Service
3817 Luker Rd
Cortland, NY 13045
Phone: (607) 753-9334
Fax: (607) 753-9699

Hudson River NRDA Trustee web sites

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Hudson River NRDA (leaves DEC website)

NOAA Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP) (leaves DEC website)

    Fact Sheets

    Studies of the Assessment