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Riverkeeper to Comment at Public Hearings on Tappan Zee Bridge

Ossining, NY – February 6, 2013 – Riverkeeper will present comments on the proposed Tappan Zee Bridge project at the public hearings to be held in Rockland County at 2:00 p.m. today and in Tarrytown tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. Following is a statement by Phillip Musegaas, Riverkeeper’s Hudson River Program Director:

“Riverkeeper will be at the hearings to share our concerns about the draft permit for the Tappan Zee Bridge project. We’ll be offering comments on how the state needs to strengthen measures to protect the Hudson River.

Key among our outstanding concerns is that the state needs to make a commitment to certify that the project will comply with all water quality standards and ensure that monitoring and reporting requirements are clearly spelled out. For example, the draft permit must clearly prohibit the discharge of concrete leachate and fresh concrete into the Hudson – the earlier draft permit contained this prohibition, but it was removed from the current document. Another issue we will raise is that mitigation measures proposed in the draft permit are insufficient, given the scale and impacts of the new bridge. The state should commit to providing additional funds for mitigation projects in the Hudson, and a public process for determining specific projects that will provide the best ecological benefit to the river.

In addition to sharing these concerns at this week’s hearings, Riverkeeper will submit detailed written comments on the permit by the February 18th deadline. We anticipate further dialogue with the state on these issues, and will determine our ultimate course of action on the project based on the state’s responses to our concerns.”