A New York state board has approved Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to use $511 million in loans from a clean water fund to help finance the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
The state's Environmental Facilities Corp. took up and approved the proposal at a meeting Thursday. It's now subject to approval by the Thruway Authority and Public Authorities Control Board.
The Democratic governor's plan has come under fire from environmental groups and others, including NY Assemblyman James Brennan, Chair of the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions. "These funds have been intended to address wastewater treatment, sewage treatment needs of municipalities. It seems completely inappropriate to be drawing down these funds for this particular purpose."
The Environmental Protection Agency has called the proposed use of the funds "unconventional."
Cuomo says the loans will fund measures associated with the new bridge to protect the Hudson River and marine life.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.