Cuomo Drops Tappan Zee Loan After EPA Balks

ALBANY (AP) -

The state is dropping its attempt to secure half a billion dollars in federal clean-water funds to help pay for a new Tappan Zee Bridge after the Environmental Protection Agency again rejected most of it.

In an agreement announced Tuesday, the EPA will approve another $1.3 million in clean-water loans for the bridge, bringing the total to $30 million. In return, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration will drop its objections to the federal government’s refusal to approve its entire $511 million request.

Cuomo’s administration had hoped to use the loans to help pay for the $3.9 billion bridge now under construction over the Hudson River. The loans are typically used to finance sewers and drinking water projects.

That angered environmentalists, who said clean-water money shouldn’t pay for bridge construction. It also concerned the EPA, which announced last fall that it would approve only $29 million for work related to the bridge. The state appealed the decision.