Want to see the new 3-mile-long Tappan Zee in action? Watch the State’s
During last week’s public hearings on the proposed Tappan Zee Bridge project, held by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the nonprofit watchdog group, Riverkeeper, expressed concerns that the bridge project needs much stronger water quality protections for the Hudson River.
Phillip Musegaas, Riverkeeper’s Hudson River Program Director, asked that the project “certify that it will comply with all water quality standards and ensure that monitoring and reporting requirements are clearly spelled out.”
Riverkeeper specifically wants “to prohibit the discharge of concrete leachate and fresh concrete into the Hudson.” An earlier draft permit had such a provision but it was removed. In addition, the group is asking the state to provide additional funds for mitigation measures in the Hudson, and “a public process for determining specific projects that will provide the best ecological benefit to the river.”
State DEC officials overseeing the project say that a recently revised draft permit actually does provide for reduced amounts of dredging and also reduced numbers of oyster beds affected, as well as better protection for Atlantic sturgeon and shortnose sturgeon, both endangered species. But environmental groups remain wary given the huge scope and multiyear time frame for the project. (See our previous coverage.)
Hayley Carlock, an attorney with Scenic Hudson, spoke to the Journal News about increased funds for mitigation: “Scenic Hudson believes that funding for in-river mitigation projects should be more substantial for a project of such a large size, impact and cost.”
Will the Hudson be adequately protected?
You can weigh in with written comments submitted until Feb. 18 by mail to John J. Ferguson, NYS DEC – Division of Environmental Permits, 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, N.Y. 12233-1750 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy DEC
top photo submitted to theLoopPool on Flickr by Ruth Marie Hicks