Our shareholder engagement also addresses the environmental health and justice impacts of corporate operations. This may relate to contamination of waterways, toxins in materials, or justice implications related to plant and facility siting.
Engagement with GE, PCBs and the Hudson River
For over 40 years, General Electric disposed of at least 1.3 million pounds of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) into the Hudson River. GE plants in Fort Edward and Hudson Falls, NY are also heavily contaminated with PCBs. The Environmental Protection Agency designated 200 miles of the Hudson River as a Superfund site in 1984. The plant sites are New York State Superfund sites. In February 1976, a state Department of Conservation Hearing Officer, in a case against GE, described GE’s actions as “corporate abuse” and found that the record “overwhelmingly” demonstrated that GE violated NY State law by discharging large quantities of PCBs into the Hudson River.
Since the mid-1990s, the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment has used its shareholder power to pressure GE to clean up the Hudson River. Despite the EPA’s decision calling for the removal of PCBs from the Hudson River, the cleanup only began in the spring of 2009.
Our shareholder resolution, calling on the company to report its costs in legal and public relations fees related to delaying the cleanup, has received the support of over 25% of GE shareholders in recent years.
Tri-CRI Letter Calls on GE to Complete Cleanup of the Hudson River
Brief History of GE Shareholder Resolutions
Chronology of GE Shareholder Resolutions
Costs of Delay Resolution
Religious Shareholders Force Disclosure by GE That Company Spent Tens of Millions To Delay Clean-Up of Hudson River, Other PCB Site Discharges. Read the press release.
Statement of Cathy Rowan
Statement of Patricia Daly, OP
GE’s 2013 Report on Hudson River Cleanup
GE’s Report on PCB Expenditures, 1990-2005
GE’s Report on PCB Expenditures, 1990-2006