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Hudson River: Injuries and Effects of PCBs Connect with Us

The Hudson River Trustees are conducting a natural resource damage assessment to determine restoration required to compensate for injuries to natural resources from PCBs in and around the Hudson River.

Natural Resources Exposed to PCBs

Living resources at every level of the Hudson's aquatic, terrestrial, and wetland-based food chains are contaminated with PCBs. PCB contamination is found in aquatic insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals such as mink, otter, bats, mice, shrews, and voles. PCB concentrations in the Hudson River's wildlife are higher than the levels at which negative effects are usually seen or expected.

For example, the Trustees have found the following:

  • In sediments, PCBs are present at levels potentially causing harmful impacts to aquatic ecosystems.
  • In fish, PCBs levels associated with biochemical changes and adverse reproductive effects are exceeded.
  • In mink, PCB levels associated with reproductive impairment are exceeded.
  • In snapping turtles, PCB levels associated with the latent mortality in juveniles are exceeded.
  • In bullfrogs, PCB levels associated with significant risk for various adverse effects in amphibians, including physical malformations, are exceeded.
  • In birds, PCB levels associated with reproductive impairment are exceeded.

Serious adverse effects are likely to be occurring to these, and potentially other, living organisms exposed to the PCB contamination in the Hudson River region. To understand those effects, further studies on natural resources of the Hudson River, including fish, mink, sediment, birds, and waterfowl, are currently underway.

Recent Studies and Publications

Injury determination work on birds supported by the Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees was presented by the Trustees' Principal Investigators at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry meeting, November 11-15, 2012, in Long Beach, California. The poster/presentations and abstracts are as follows:

The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees have established a listserv to provide updates on the ongoing natural resource damage assessment and restoration efforts for the Hudson River. The public is invited to join the listserv for periodic updates on this effort.

To join the Hudson-NRDA listserv:

1. Send a message to:

2. Write in the subject:
Subscribe hudsonnrda

3. You will receive a confirmation e-mail to which you MUST reply within 24 hours.


Kathryn Jahn
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
3817 Luker Road
Cortland, NY 13045

Tom Brosnan
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1305 East West Highway SSMC4, Room 10219
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3038 x186

Sean Madden
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, 5th Floor
Albany, NY 12233

Last updated: February 1, 2016