HRI advocates for passage of the Rivers
Denny Alsop, the river lover who canoed his way
from the Berkshire to Boston to promote the
Rivers Bill is at the right. An HRI Hero!
The Housatonic River Initiative (HRI), a non-profit coalition of Berkshire County residents, was formed in 1992 to work to reclaim the Housatonic River system from years of neglect and decades of toxic PCB contamination.
We are conservationists, sportsmen and women, scientists, and homeowners whose land has been polluted. The more we have learned, the more we have realized what a large task we have set for ourselves, and the wider our scope of activities has become.
While we began advocating for a river, our tasks multiplied to include fighting for a comprehensive cleanup of the General Electric (GE) facility in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the closure of GE's PCB burn facility, the removal of PCBs from contaminated residential homes, businesses, schoolyards, and playgrounds, and demanding public health studies for former GE workers and members of the public whose homes were built on or near PCB-contaminated fill.
History of H. R. I.
To download a history of H.R.I., please click here.
HRI is working to:
- restore the Housatonic River and its floodplain as a major community asset, a river safe to fish and swim.
- advocate with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a timely and effective and comprehensive PCB cleanup, with strong public participation in all aspects of the negotiating and decision-making process.
- reintroduce the residents of Berkshire County to the actual and potential beauty of the Housatonic River.
- promote environmental education about the River and PCB contamination in area schools and colleges.
- keep our local political leaders, and members of local Boards of Selectmen, Health, and Conservation Commissions aware of the many complicated issues involved in the cleanup process.
Board of Directors, Housatonic River Initiative
- Dave Gibbs, President - Citizens for PCB Removal, GE PCB worker, Pittsfield
- Al Bertelli, Vice President - Lakewood River steward, GE PCB worker, Pittsfield
- Raya Ariella, Treasuer - Center for Ecological Technology, Egremont
- Tim Gray, Executive Director - Housatonic Riverkeeper, Lee Land Trust, Lee
- George Darey - Massachusetts Chairman - Fish and Wildlife, Lenox
- Benno Friedman - Housatonic River Action Coalition, photograper, Sheffield
- Mickey Friedman - Filmmaker and writer, Great Barrington
- Andy Gordon, river advocate and musician, Lenox
- E.J. Jordon - Health advocate, Former Dept. of Defense worker, Pittsfield
- Judy Herkimer - Director of the Housatonic Environmental Action League, Cornwall Bridge, CT
- Dave Martindale - environmental professional, former GE site manager
- John Nalepa - Allendale School Advocate, musician, Dalton
- Tom Stokes - Climate Change Coalition, Stockbridge Land Trust, Former Berkshire County Commissioner, Stockbridge Selectmen
- Dr. Don Roeder - Director, Berkshire Environmental Research Center, Prof. Environmental Sciences, Bard College/Simon's Rock
- Chris Windram - Tight Lines Fly Fishing, Housatonic
- Jane Winn - Director of Berkshire Environmental Action Team, Pittsfield