The Hudson Falls Powerhouse and
Allen Mill Site is located along the east bank of the Hudson River in
the village of Hudson Falls, Washington County, New York. The Allen Mill is a former textile mill that
was constructed in the mid-1800s and borders the former General Electric (GE) Hudson Falls
Facility. The Powerhouse, which is immediately downstream from the Allen Mill,
was constructed in 1907 and supplied hydroelectric power to the Mill through a
system of raceways and tunnels that were excavated into the bedrock.
During a 30-year period ending in 1977, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were discharged into the Hudson River from GE’s capacitor manufacturing
plant located in Hudson Falls. PCB releases from the plant caused significant surface and below-ground contamination. The former GE Hudson Falls plant site is being addressed under New York State’s
Superfund program. GE performed dredging in the upper Hudson River to remove PCB-contaminated sediment, under EPA oversight, between 2009-2015. However, PCB
contamination remains in the bedrock at the GE Hudson Falls Facility, and potentially
in the soil near the Allen Mill and Powerhouse structures themselves.
In July 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached an agreement with Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation (NMPC), which is
owned by National Grid, and General Electric Company (GE) to dismantle the
Powerhouse and Allen Mill. The owner of the property, NMPC,
is taking down the buildings due to their deteriorated condition. Because these
activities have the potential to cause a release of PCBs into the Hudson River, they will be
Under the terms of the legal agreement, NMPC
and GE are required to submit detailed plans to the Agency outlining how the
structures will be taken down safely, with measures in place to reduce to reduce the potential for a release of hazardous
substances into the river. The plans include air, surface water and groundwater monitoring.
NMPC and GE developed a Community Air
Monitoring Plan which includes a description of the air monitoring approach and
sampling methods at the site. That information will be used to adjust the work to prevent air impacts to the surrounding community from site
contaminants and dust.
NMPC and GE
also developed an Environmental Monitoring Plan that outlines the monitoring
program. In addition, the ongoing environmental operations and
monitoring associated with the former GE Hudson Falls plant will continue. Under the Environmental Monitoring
Plan, groundwater samples will be collected regularly from onsite groundwater
monitoring wells and in the Hudson River, downstream of the work. Measures will
be in place to prevent a release of contamination into the river. Response
measures will be implemented in the event of a release.
The Powerhouse deconstruction work is scheduled
to begin in early August 2022. The work will begin with the Powerhouse and continue
with the Allen Mill in the future. If the Powerhouse work cannot be completed
this season, it will be suspended during the winter months and will begin again
in spring 2023.
More information about the work is available in
the August 2022 Community Update.