News Column

Riverkeeper Denounces Deal to Pay for Basic Bridge Construction Work with Clean Water Funds

July 16, 2014

OSSINING, N.Y., July 16 -- Riverkeeper issued the following statement by Paul Gallay, President and Hudson Riverkeeper:

"Our legislative leaders must have been hiding their heads in the sand to vote for this loan despite the thunderous opposition it drew from their fellow legislators; municipal officials groups; water treatment plant operators; editorial boards; good government groups; transportation advocates; and, environmentalists.

This unprecedented alliance for good governance warned Senate and Assembly power brokers: 'This is a bad business. Don't go along with it.' But, they did just that, with barely a whisper of protest.

Today's behind-the-curtain deal voted on by PACB temporarily turns a $511 million illegal loan into a $255 million illegal loan. It's still just as damaging to the clean water act loan program and it still denies the public their legally-mandated say about the loan. And, the EFC made it clear they'll be back for the second half of the larger amount originally sought by the Thruway Authority.

Now, only EPA or the courts can stop the EFC and the Thruway Authority from paying for a quarter of a billion in bridge construction work with funds they were given to fix sewage treatment plants and implement river restoration plans.

So, we await completion of EPA's review, which we are confident will lead to disallowance of this illegal loan. And, we prepare for litigation, which appears more and more unavoidable with every new development in this outrageous affair."

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Source: Targeted News Service

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