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Hudson River At Risk


For many years, the Hudson River, like so many waterways across the U.S., was treated like an infinite waste barrel, a receptacle for poisonous chemicals, hazardous waste and trash of all descriptions. During the past forty years, thanks to a committed group of environmentalists and their agencies, the river has become markedly cleaner, a far more welcoming place for small business and community investment. While the river is still an under-utilized natural resource, increasingly it is used by boaters, kayakers, even swimmers as a recreational playground.

But the river, in the words of Riverkeeper’s John Lipscomb, the Hudson River, from Troy to Manhattan, has “had a foot on its neck” for more than one hundred years due to all that pollution and unmonitored industrialization.

So despite all of the improvements the river and valley have witnessed thanks to the coordination of some of the savviest environmentalists in the country, there are still environmental risks and concerns.

Featuring Experts and Advocates:

Ned Sullivan, President of Scenic Hudson
John Gallay, President of Riverkeeper
Aaron Mair, President of Sierra Club
John Lipscomb, Hudson Riverkeeper Patrol Captain
Jeremy Chersen, Riverkeeper
Roger Downs, Sierra Club
David Carpenter, Director of Health & Environment, University at Albany
Gidon Eshel, Bard College
Kate Hudson, Riverkeeper
Phil Musegaas, Riverkeeper
Daniel Raichel, NRDC
Hayley Carlock, Scenic Hudson
Althea Mullarkey, Scenic Hudson
Jennifer Metzger, Citizens for Local Power


  • Bomb Trains on the Hudson

    • Hudson River At Risk
    The sight of long trains, made up of one hundred-plus black, cylindrical cars, rolling slowly through cities and towns across North America – often within yards of office buildings, hospitals and schools -- has become commonplace. Few who see them know what these sinister-looking cars carry: A highly flammable mixture of gas and oil from the shale fields of North Dakota. At thirty thousand gallons per car, each of these trains carries more than three million gallons of highly flammable and toxic fuel.
  • The Long Shadow of Indian Point

    • Hudson River At Risk
    The Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, NY, sits just thirty miles from Times Square. One of its three aging reactors has been offline since 1974; the two others are in need of updating. A timeline shows a long history of leaks, small spills and fires going back to its opening in 1962. Many, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, would like to see the plant shut down permanently, a decision that could be made later this year. Its owner, Entergy, wants existing licenses for the two reactors extended for another twenty years.
  • A Bridge Over Troubled Waters

    • Hudson River At Risk
    The new construction is a massive undertaking. More than 400 workers commute each day to 130 floating cranes, barges and tugboats to work on what will ultimately be the world’s widest bridge. It should go without saying that such a massive construction project is impacting the local environment.
  • PCB’S - A Toxic Legacy

    • Hudson River At Risk
    When G.E. was finally forced, in 2009, to clean up the toxic mess it had made of the Hudson Valley by dumping PCBs into the river for more than thirty years, it’s assignment was to clean-up the country’s largest Superfund site. Last December G.E. pulled out, saying it had completed the mission given it by the E.P.A. What did it leave behind? The country’s largest Superfund site.
  • High Voltage / Dark Shadow

    • Hudson River At Risk
    Governor Cuomo's proposed "energy highway" includes new transmission lines running from old power plants in upstate New York to New York City. But studies prove the electricity provided by the $1.2 Billion project are simply not needed.
  • A Pipeline Runs Through It

    • Hudson River At Risk
    There are countless unknowns about the safety and future of both projects but one thing is certain: Neither helps provide New Yorkers with gas or oil. As we’ve come to learn in our reporting of this series about risks to the Hudson River and Valley, both pipeline projects bring to New York exorbitant risks and deliver absolutely no benefits.
  • Anchors Away

    • Hudson River At Risk
    The Hudson River has served as a marine highway since it’s discovery by Henry Hudson, connecting Albany, the “Port of Export”, to New York City, the economic capital of world. Today, crude oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota has begun making its way along the channel by barge. A new proposal to increase the number of anchorages in the Hudson suggests that more barges will follow suit, meaning more risk for the river.
  • City on the Water (Condensed Cut)

    • Hudson River At Risk
    The Hudson River has served as a marine highway since it’s discovery by Henry Hudson, connecting Albany, the “Port of Export”, to New York City, the economic capital of world.

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