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Byline: Alex Nussbaum
Aug. 2--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency threw its support Wednesday behind a $480 million plan to dredge PCBs from the Hudson River, a decision that drew applause from environmentalists and fishermen in New Jersey.
Others in the state were more cautious, however, including commercial fishermen who were concerned that talk of toxic bass or lobster would drive consumers away.
But for supporters of dredging, the announcement by EPA Administrator Christie Whitman, New Jersey's former governor, was a huge victory after a long battle with General Electric, the company that dumped the PCBs in the river from 1947 until the 1970s.
"It's good news," said Charlie Stamm, a New Milford fisherman and former president of the Hudson River Fishermen's Association in New Jersey. "Our members have high levels of toxins in their systems due to these pollutants, due to General Electric, and finally a statement has been made to polluters: You make a mess -- you clean it up."
Dredging could mean a healthier river for New Jerseyans to enjoy, an end to health advisories against consuming crabs, catfish, and other river dwellers, and perhaps the rebirth of the …