In Ruling, EPA Cuts Use Of Clean Water Fund Money For New Tappan Zee Bridge

A decision by the EPA disqualifies almost all of a loan Gov. Cuomo proposed using earlier this year.

In a setback to funding for the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement, the Environmental Protection Agency today disqualified $481 million of the proposed $511 million in loans meant to fund related projects.

The EPA said their decision to disqualify the money stems from the fact the loan was to draw on the largely federally funded Clean Water State Revolving Fund—a plan proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that gained the approval from several Westchester business leaders when it was unveiled earlier this year, but was controversial due to its unorthodox use of the fund for projects related to the new bridge’s construction.

“EPA analyzed whether the proposed projects meet the legal requirements of the Clean Water Act and if they implement the New York—New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan,” the EPA said in a statement, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported. “After careful analysis, the EPA has determined that five of the projects are eligible for funding and seven of the projects are not eligible.”

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The entire bridge replacement project is expected to cost over three billion dollars in total. The EPA’s decision to disqualify the majority of the clean water fund loan is not expected to halt the construction of the new bridge.

Update (9/17): Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to appeal the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to disqualify most of a proposed loan that would help pay for projects connected to constructing a replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge.

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