An Oral History of General Electric's Involvement and Legacy in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

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ProQuest, 2009 - 94 pages
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This thesis documents General Electric's (GE) stranglehold on the Berkshire County regional economy and carefully considers the events that took place over the last several decades of the 20th century that led to GE's departure from Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It also examines the role GE played in the pollution of the environment in greater Pittsfield. This thesis chronicles GE's use of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in their production of transformers (to view a picture of a GE transformer see Appendix A) and the subsequent litigation process between the large corporation, the city of Pittsfield, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Finally, the thesis outlines the current redevelopment efforts underway in Pittsfield to rebuild a strong, dependable, sustainable, and diverse economy in the wake of GE's abandonment of the region.
 

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Contents

ECONOMIC IMPACTS
1
Pittsf1elds Transformation
10
ENVIROlHIENTAL IMPACTS AND SETTLEMENT
21
Identifying the Extent of the Damage
31
The Negotiated Settlement
39
PITTSFIELD REDEVELOPMENT EFFORTS
51
Acknowledging the Need for Change
58
The Criticisms and the Incentives
64
One Foot Out the Door
79
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