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Riverkeeper Comments on Tappan Zee Replacement Final Environmental Study

Finds deficiencies in at least three major areas; committed to working toward the best alternative that protects the Hudson River

Ossining, NY – September 5, 2012 – Riverkeeper has submitted comments to New York State on the proposed Tappan Zee Bridge project which point out how the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is legally and factually deficient in at least three key areas:

  • In-river impacts to endangered species and critical river habitat are grossly underestimated by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

    The FEIS also fails to fully consider alternative construction measures that would avoid massive dredging and to devise ways to minimize impacts, or mitigate those that are unavoidable.

  • The state fails to provide an adequate alternatives analysis and has not fully considered any other options, such as a tunnel, bridge with mass transit or rehabilitated bridge as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR).
  • By not fully assessing impacts from demolition of the old bridge, and building future mass transit on the bridge or future highway expansion in the “corridor,” the FEIS illegally “segments” review of environmental impacts.

The comments on the FEIS expand upon Riverkeeper’s initial and ongoing concerns regarding this massive public works project, including expert analysis from Riverkeeper’s consultant, Carpenter Environmental Associates clearly describing the gaping holes in the state’s sturgeon analysis and the state’s failure to assess the true impacts of dredging a massive trench across the Hudson River, destroying valuable river habitat. The comments also include copies of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s comments to the state on its environmental review, which call for a supplemental EIS and question whether the state has complied with NEPA.

Paul Gallay, President and Hudson Riverkeeper, said: “New York State cannot move forward with a project that does this much damage to the Hudson River and surrounding communities. We have been in talks with the state about this project, and more are being scheduled. We are committed to working with the state to help facilitate solutions to these major problems and choose the right alternative with the lowest possible impacts.”

Tappan Zee Bridge Comments

Exhibits 1-4

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