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EPA Rejects Cuomo's Tappan Zee Clean Water Funding Plan

WAMC, Allison Dunne

The federal environmental protection agency has rejected a plan by New York Governor Amdrew Cuomo to raid the state’s clean water fund to help pay for the New York Thruway’s Tappan Zee Bridge replacement.

The Cuomo Administration had justified the loan from the state’s clean water revolving loan program, which is overseen by the federal government, saying it would help keep the Hudson River clean while the bridge was rebuilt, and after its completion. But opponents, including most environmental groups, say Cuomo is misusing the fund to clean up water pollution that would be caused by the bridge project.

The EPA agrees, and says, in a letterto the administration that the loan money should not be used to mitigate “construction activities arising from transportation projects that do not advance water quality”  and says the clean water loan “should not be used for these purposes.” The letter also says the request to use the clean water loan to help finance a new bridge is “unprecedented” and says no other state has made a request “of this type or magnitude.”

There was no immediate reaction from Governor Cuomo.

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