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EPA rejects funding of Cuomo's bridge

Staff writer ▼ | September 22, 2014
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejected New York's bid to use about $500 million from a clean water fund for a bridge replacement project.
Andrew Cuomo
New York   About $500 million from clean water
There may be an increase in the state's highway fares as a result. New York governor Andrew Cuomo wanted to use $500 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to help pay for a replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge. The EPA's rejected all but $30 million Cuomo requested for the project.

Environmentalists hailed the decision as environmentally responsible.

"The Cuomo administration's attempt to raid the federal Clean Water Act funds to pay for bridge construction was appropriately rejected,” said Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates, a lobbying group in Albany, New York.

Governor Cuomo says he'll appeal the decision, and denied that the financing of the project was tied to the loan form the EPA. He said it would have helped keep the Hudson River clean while the bridge was rebuilt. "This was never part of the planning for the bridge financing."

Because of the rejection of the loan, tolls may increase at the Thruway, New York's highway system. The Tappan Zee Bridge replacement is part of the Thruway system.