Congressman Hinchey Will Retire From Congress at End of Current Term
I am very proud of the many accomplishments I've achieved during my time in Congress. From securing the designation of I-86, to obtaining billions of dollars in federal investments across this great district, to the cleanup of PCBs in the Hudson River, to developing a cluster of solar energy companies in upstate New York, to my work on protecting our nation from hydraulic fracturing and many other critical initiatives.
In the case of I-86, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and I authored legislation designating New York's Route 17 as Interstate 86, in order to bring increased economic activity to the Southern Tier and Catskills regions. In 1998, the 381 mile stretch of Route 17 was set on a path to becoming I-86, making it eligible for a wide array of new federal funding. The conversion of Route 17 to I-86 will eventually provide a federal interstate connection from I-90 at Erie, PA to I-87 at Harriman, NY. And the New York State Department of Transportation is currently planning a major reconstruction project for Prospect Mountain in Binghamton, New York, which will create more than 200 jobs.
And I am very proud of the fight I led first in Albany and later in Washington to force General Electric to pay for and clean up the 1.3 million pounds of PCBs it dumped into the Hudson River between 1947 and 1977. Dating back to my days as Chair of the State Assembly's Environmental Conservation Committee, I fought against numerous attempts to delay and narrow the clean-up process and worked tirelessly to make sure the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held GE responsible for the cleanup. Today, the second and final phase of the clean up process has begun and its commencement is an important step forward in removing the PCB contamination that has plagued this great river for many decades and restoring the river to the great natural resource it once was.