Obama EPA nixes Andy’s Tappan Zee Dreams


EPA Decision on State of New York’s Proposal to Use Clean Water Funding for Projects Related to Replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge

Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides millions of dollars to the State of New York, which in turn provides funding to local governments for various clean water purposes, including building or upgrading sewage treatment plants. This has resulted in significant improvements in water quality throughout the state.  New York has long been a leader in the national Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund program and EPA recognizes the role that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and Environmental Facilities Corporation have played in implementing this clean water program in an effective manner.

On June 24, 2014, the Board of Directors of the Environmental Facilities Corporation voted to provide $511 million in loans to the NYS Thruway Authority for 12 projects related to building the new bridge.  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.  After careful analysis, the EPA has determined that five of the projects are eligible for funding and seven of the projects are not eligible.

This decision is more fully explained in a September 16, 2014 letter that the EPA sent to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation.  The letter is available at: www.epa.gov/region2/tappanzeeletter.pdf

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