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Environmental Groups Still Trying to Block Loan for Tappan Zee Bridge Project

by Stephanie Colombini
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Doug Kerr, flickr

Members of a key New York State board are set to vote this week on a controversial loan for the Tappan Zee Bridge project. And some environmental groups want to block the deal.

Tensions have risen across New York state in recent weeks following Governor Cuomo's proposal to use $511 million in state loans from a clean water fund to help pay for the new Tappan Zee Bridge project. Environmental groups are trying to persuade the state Public Authorities Control Board to reject the proposal when they vote on it Wednesday.

Proponents of the plan say they support using the loan to help protect the Hudson River during bridge construction. But Peter Iwanowicz with Environmental Advocates of New York says the money should go toward cleaning up the state's crumbling sewage systems instead.

"The needs are enormous," he said.  "And the last thing we should be doing is diverting the precious dollars we have now from those needs, and directing it towards construction of the bridge."

Iwanowicz says advocates are asking state legislators to block the deal if it passes and would consider taking legal action if necessary.

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