GE announced today that it has advised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it will perform the second and final phase of the Hudson River dredging project. “We engaged in intensive and constructive discussions with EPA, and the Agency’s decision reflects our discussions and many of our proposals,” said Ann R. Klee, GE’s Vice President of Corporate Environmental Programs. “GE has consistently said it wanted to complete the dredging and now looks forward to doing so under terms that achieve the scientific objectives of dredging in a practical and
cost-effective way,” Klee said. “We are proud of having met each and every one of our many commitments to EPA on this project, and we will continue to do so.”
GE also said it will take an after-tax charge of about $500 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 to help fund the remainder of the project. As discussed on December 14 with securities analysts, GE expects that positive items, including a favorable tax settlement, will offset this charge. GE expects this step will resolve future uncertainty regarding Hudson dredging liabilities.
GE’s goal is to resume dredging in late Spring 2011. The company’s dredging team already has begun to refine the engineering design for Phase 2, based on technical discussions with EPA and the recommendations of the panel of independent scientists who evaluated the first phase of dredging. GE expects to submit the plans to EPA for review and approval in February.