Meeting on river cleanup postponed because of government shutdown

Signs warn sportsmen about contamination of wildlife along the Housatonic River south of Pittsfield. A meeting regarding General Electric Co.'s proposed cleanup of the river has been postponed due to the partial shutdown of the federal government.

PITTSFIELD — The partial federal government shutdown has caused the postponement this week of a gathering related to the cleanup of the Housatonic River.

A scheduled Wednesday meeting of the Citizens Coordinating Council at the Lenox Library will be held at a later date, according to the Consensus Building Institute, the Cambridge group that runs the sessions.

The council's meetings are a main source of public information on efforts to address the General Electric Co.'s pollution of the river with polychlorinated biphenyls. One agenda item for this week had been an update on the status of mediation efforts concerning the Environmental Protection Agency's 2016 order spelling out how GE must address pollution in the river from areas in Pittsfield and south.

Because of the shutdown, EPA employees who are most knowledgeable about steps to remove PCBs from the river and its floodplain are not available to participate.

Rebecca B. Gilbert of the institute said Monday a new date will be announced "based on the shutdown timing, availability of speakers, and meeting space availability."

— Larry Parnass