Bush Administration Asks Judge to Dismiss GE Lawsuit

Washington, D.C. -- The Bush administration has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by General Electric Co. (GE) and uphold the Superfund toxic waste cleanup law.

GE filed suit in November 2000, just weeks before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a preliminary plan for dredging polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated pockets along the upper Hudson River, which would cost GE about $500 million. From 1946 to 1977, two GE plants dumped 1.3 million pounds of PCBs in the river.

GE is arguing that the Superfund law is unconstitutional because it gives federal regulators uncontrolled authority to order cleanups with no judicial review.

The company has until April 8 to respond to the EPA's record of decision to dredge the Hudson. If it does not respond, the EPA may order it to perform the cleanup, or use federal funds to pay for dredging and charge GE more.