The Hudson river - PCB case study

John P. McCarty

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The Hudson River dominates the history and landscape of eastern New York and surrounding states (Figure 29.1). In environmental terms, the Hudson River has come to symbolize the difficulties associated with finding solutions to the problems of widespread contamination by persistent organic compounds as well as other sources of anthropogenic stress. The case history I describe here does not include many of the complicating factors that make addressing contaminant problems so difficult in the early 21 century such as complex mixtures and diffuse nonpoint sources with no easily recognizable responsible party. Instead, the story of the Hudson River is dominated by a single class of chemicals (PCBs), released from two long recognized point sources, by a still thriving corporation - in short, the very scenario that many environmental laws were written to address. It is informative that solutions to the contamination of the Hudson River have not been reached. In this case study, I review the history of PCB contamination in the context of the Hudson River ecosystem. I describe the patterns of PCB contamination in the biota of the Hudson, the risk contaminants pose to fish and wildlife, and attempts to mitigate those risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Ecotoxicology, Second Edition
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781420032505
ISBN (Print)9781566705462
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Engineering


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