Riverkeeper has been an ardent watchdog of the Tappan Zee Bridge project since 2008 and as steward of the Hudson, laid out specific recommendations that would ensure the river is protected and state resources are allocated to compensate for any unavoidable damage done during construction.
Construction on the new bridge began after Riverkeeper joined with partner Scenic Hudson in a settlement agreement with New York State on a stricter construction permit, but concerns about the project’s impact on the Hudson River remain. Riverkeeper formally threatened to sue the State in September 2013 over poor dredging practices and inadequate monitoring of endangered species.
In response, the State cleaned up its act on dredging, but is struggling to develop an in-river monitoring system to check on endangered Atlantic Sturgeon during construction. Riverkeeper has made it clear that the current system is not protective enough, and likely doesn’t comply with federal permit requirements, so time is running out for the State to remedy this gap in environmental protection before we take further legal action. Together with Scenic Hudson, we will continue to ensure that the new Tappan Zee Bridge is built in a way that safeguards our river while providing local communities with the modern infrastructure they need.
Riverkeeper is also part of a coalition fighting the proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and The New York State Thruway Authority to use $511 million from the Clean Water Act State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) to finance Tappan Zee Bridge construction activities. This illegal and unprecedented loan would divert money from communities across the state in desperate need of water infrastructure improvements. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which provides the seed money for the CWSRF, has questioned the eligibility of environmentally detrimental activities like dredging and bridge demolition for clean-water funding.
Letters to and from EFC on the Proposal
Materials on the Proposals to Use CWSRF to Finance the Tappan Zee Bridge
Other Related Documents
-2008, Riverkeeper calls on the State agencies involved to offer alternatives to replacing the existing Tappan Zee Bridge with a new structure and challenges the project environmental review process.
-Represented by Pace Law School’s Environmental Litigation Clinic in White Plains, NY, Riverkeeper submits comments to the New York State Department of Transportation on the scope of the intended Tappan Zee Bridge environmental impact statement and has requests involvement in the decision-making process as the project progresses. Comments submitted express extreme concern over the Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing Project proposal, which did not address vital issues such as traffic congestion and pollution and had the potential to cause needless destruction to the Hudson River and surrounding communities and environment. More
-In 2011 Governor Cuomo and the state agencies involved began pushing a plan forward for a “car only” bridge design that disregarded the public and local elected officials concerns regarding how the bridge will be paid for, and the shortsighted waste of government resources that failed to improve the region’s transportation system. They also made efforts to marginalize the public and shield themselves from public accountability, by giving the public only 60 days to weigh in on the largest public works/engineering project in the Hudson Valley’s recent history, and failing to provide a detailed financial plan describing how a new bridge will be paid for. Press Release
-On April 2, 2012, Riverkeeper submitted extensive comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to the Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing Project, calling on state officials to heed the public’s concerns and reconsider their plan to push through a fatally flawed project that is obsolete from day one without mass transit, and would inflict severe damage on the Hudson River ecosystem.
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