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Housatonic River 'Model Validation' Report Released for Public Review and Comment

Release Date: 03/07/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - Mar. 7, 2006) – EPA has released the "Model Validation Report for the GE Pittsfield / Housatonic River Site, Rest of River," starting a 30-day public comment period on the report. During the public comment period, which will run from March 8 - April 6, interested members of the public are invited to present comments to an independent scientific Peer Review Panel. The independent Panel will be evaluating the Model Validation Report in late June.

The Model Validation Report is the final in a series of five reports released since 2001 for public comment and review by independent scientific Peer Review Panels. These include the Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessments as well as the Modeling Framework and Modeling Calibration Reports. The Peer Reviewed documents collectively present EPA’s findings regarding the risks that existing contamination presents to residents and ecological receptors, and also present a modeling framework that can be used to evaluate potential remedial alternatives.

The Model is designed to reproduce conditions in the Housatonic River between the confluence of the East and West Branches in Pittsfield and Rising Pond Dam in Stockbridge. In doing so, the model can be used to project into the future what the results of potential clean up options would be and is one tool which will be used by GE and EPA to evaluate potential cleanup alternatives for the Rest of River. Once EPA completes the Model Validation Report Peer Review process, GE is required under the Consent Decree to submit a proposal outlining clean up alternatives for more in-depth review; the Corrective Measures Study will then be performed which evaluates these cleanup alternatives against a number of criteria specified in the Reissued RCRA Permit.

The public is invited to review and comment on the Modeling Validation Report and to submit their comments in the context of the Charge questions to the Peer Review Panel to be considered in their review of the report. In addition, members of the public will have an opportunity to orally address the Panel directly on questions laid out in the Charge before the Panel begins its deliberations. Public comments must be related to the questions posed in the Charge for the Model Validation.

The full text of the Charge for the Model Validation, the Model Validation Report, EPA’s Peer Review Handbook and Appendix J to the Consent Decree, as well as other related documents including a list of the Panel Members are available on EPA’s Web site, by clicking on the red button “Current Public Comment Periods.”

Copies of the Model Validation Report and the full text of the Charge for the Model Validation, as well as other information on the site are available for review at the following locations:

- Berkshire Athenaeum Public Library Reference Depart., 1 Wendell Ave., Pittsfield MA
- Cornwall Public Library, Pine St., Cornwall CT
- Kent Memorial Library (Kent Library Association), 32 North Main St., Kent CT
- Housatonic Valley Association, Cornwall Bridge CT
- EPA Records Center, One Congress St., Suite 1100, Boston MA
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, 436 Dwight St., Suite 500, Springfield MA
- Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, 79 Elm St., Hartford CT

Comments should be faxed, emailed or mailed by April 6, 2006 to:

Beth Nerrie
SRA International
2801 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 100
Arlington VA 22201

Fax: 703-516-9108

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