F. Y. I.
HudsonWatch.net & .org
The GE logo is a registered trademark - © 2000 General
Electric Company - and is used on this Web site without permission.
This Web site can best be
viewed using a Netscape browser.
The nation's original 'environmental'
Read the law, then decide for yourself:
Is G.E. lying when it says it 'legally'
discharged PCB's into the Hudson River from 1946 until 1974?
The following 101-year-old federal law, 'Rivers
and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899', is the nation's original
'environmental' statute. A lot of people refer to it, but few actually
know what it says.
When this Act is passed by Congress and signed into law by President
William McKinley, what is then the Edison General Electric Company,
formed in 1889, is already ten years old.
There were some earlier incarnations of this Act, but this is
the version which is the law of the land in 1946 when General Electric
Company begins discharging PCB's into the Hudson River.
The 1899 Act is still on the books today and is the precursor
Clean Water Act of 1972.
Two sections: Section 10, the part of the 1899 law which deals
with modifying the
'condition.....of any navigable water'; and Section
13, the part of the law which deals with 'deposit of refuse in navigable
waters', are displayed here.
'Rivers and Harbors
Appropriation Act of 1899' --
United States Code TITLE 33, Chapter 9, Section 403
U.S.C. 403; 30 Stat. 1151)
33 U.S.C. 403. Obstruction of navigable waters generally; wharves;
piers, etc.; excavations and filling in
That the creation of any obstruction not affirmatively
authorized by Congress, to the navigable capacity of any of the waters
of the United States is hereby prohibited; and it shall not be lawful to
build or commence the building of any wharf, pier, dolphin, boom, weir,
breakwater, bulkhead, jetty, or other structures in any port, roadstead,
haven, harbor, canal, navigable river, or other water of the United States,
outside established harbor lines, or where no harbor lines have been established,
except on plans recommended by the Chief of Engineers and authorized by
the Secretary of War;
and it shall not be lawful to excavate or fill, or in any manner to
alter or modify the course, location, condition, or capacity of, any port,
roadstead, haven, harbor, canal, lake, harbor of refuge, or inclosure within
the limits of any breakwater, or of the channel of any navigable water
of the United States, unless the work has been recommended by the Chief
of Engineers and authorized by the Secretary of War prior to beginning
About Section 10 of the Rivers and
Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899
Under Section 10 of this Act, Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act
of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403; Chapter 425, March 3, 1899; 30 Stat. 1151), the
building of any wharfs, piers, jetties, and other structures is prohibited
without Congressional approval, and excavation or fill within navigable
waters requires the approval of the Chief of Engineers. Under Section 10,
federal agency concerns include contaminated sediments associated with
dredge or fill projects in navigable waters.
United States Code TITLE 33, Chapter 9, Section 407
U.S.C. 407; 30 Stat. 1152)
33 U.S.C. 407. Deposit of refuse in navigable waters generally
It shall not be lawful to throw, discharge, or
deposit, or cause, suffer, or procure to be thrown,
discharged, or deposited either from or out of any ship, barge, or
other floating craft of any kind, or from the shore, wharf, manufacturing
establishment, or mill of any kind, any refuse matter of any kind or description
whatever other than that flowing from streets and sewers and passing therefrom
in a liquid state, into any navigable water of the United States, or into
any tributary of any navigable water from which the same shall float or
be washed into such navigable water;
and it shall not be lawful to deposit, or cause, suffer, or procure
to be deposited material of any kind in any place on the bank of any navigable
water, or on the bank of any tributary of any navigable water, where the
same shall be liable to be washed into such navigable water, either by
ordinary or high tides, or by storms or floods, or otherwise, whereby navigation
shall or may be impeded or obstructed:
Provided, That nothing herein contained shall extend to, apply to, or
prohibit the operations in connection with the improvement of navigable
waters or construction of public works, considered necessary and proper
by the United States officers supervising such improvement or public work:
And provided further, That the Secretary of the Army, whenever in the
judgment of the Chief of Engineers anchorage and navigation will not be
injured thereby, may permit the deposit of any material above mentioned
in navigable waters, within limits to be defined and under conditions to
be prescribed by him, provided application is made to him prior to depositing
such material; and whenever any permit is so granted the conditions thereof
shall be strictly complied with, and any violation thereof shall be unlawful.
About Section 13 of the Rivers and
Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899
Authority of the Corps of Engineers to issue permits for the discharge
of refuse matter into or affecting navigable waters under Section 13 of
the 1899 Act (33 U.S.C. 407; 30 Stat. 1152) was modified by title IV of
P.L. 92-500, October 18, 1972, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act
Amendments of 1972 (33 U.S.C. 1341-1345; 86 Stat. 877), as amended, which
established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits.
the Editor of this Web site
- TOP OF PAGE -
(The GE logo is a registered trademark - © 2000 General
Electric Company - and is used on this Web site without permission.)
All Rights Reserved.
Trademarks of HudsonWatch.net/HudsonWatch.org/Hudson-Voice.com and its