Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions


Source: LI Herald

Evironmentalists urge Cuomo to redirect funds to sewage outfall pipe

Posted: October 2, 2014
Originally Published: October 1, 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency rejected Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to use $482 million of New York State clean water funds to dredge for the Tappen Zee Bridge.

In response, Citizens Campaign for the Environment is calling on Cuomo to use those funds for construction of an ocean outfall pipe for the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant.

Cuomo had proposed $511 million in low-cost federal clean water loans for the bridge. But in a letter dated Sept. 15, the federal agency declined to authorize $482 million that Cuomo had sought to cover river dredging, the removal of the old span and other aspects of the work.

“This provides for a great opportunity to now re-direct almost $500 million to the construction of an ocean outfall pipe at the Bay Park Sewage treatment plant,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “These funds would almost fully cover the construction of the critical ocean outfall pipe — a project of regional significance. Cleaner, healthier bays will lead to a stronger economy,”

There has already been $820 million allocated to the re-construction, hardening, and upgrading the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant. However, additional money to construct an ocean outfall pipe has not been secured.

“The Governor understands the importance of clean water,” Esposito said. “He has heard from residents, fisherman, businesses, and other stakeholders on the importance of an ocean outfall pipe. Now, he has an opportunity to fund this necessary project,”