On the heels of Los Angeles’ park tax, New York is going through a spat with environmentalists too. The groups Riverkeeper and Environmental Advocates of New York are suing the state over Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to use $511 million in clean water loans to make improvements on New York City’s Tappan Zee bridge. The groups claim that the Governor’s proposal would set a dangerous precedent and just want the money to pay for water and sewer projects as the federal government intended. They further state that Cuomo’s plan isn’t legal and that it was implemented without public input as required by law.
Governor Cuomo says that his proposal would help minimize the cost of tolls, the cost of the present renovation the bridge and the project would be sensitive to environmental needs. The EPA has already nixed most of the funding to make Cuomo’s plan a reality. The Governor does plan to appeal and may even outright ignore the EPA ruling if he loses.
The controversy surrounding the bridge isn’t just indicative of a corrupt state governor but is telling of the environmental group’s involved hostility to growth. Not he surface Governor Cuomo is conducting himself in a way he feels best serves the citizens of New York. The environmentalists want the money spent on their pet projects, growth and improvements on infrastructure that improves people’s lives be damned.