Editorials Blast Cuomo Raid on Clean Water Funds


Governor Cuomo’s recent efforts to use $511 million in Clean Water funds to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge has been blasted in seven newspaper editorials, as well as by a coalition of environmental and good government groups that includes Reinvent Albany.  The low and zero interest Clean Water State Revolving Fund financing was created under the federal Clean Water Act to pay for new and improved sewer treatment plants. ( A 2008 state report says cities and towns will have to spend $1.8 billion a year for the next two decades to replace aging and deteriorating waste water infrastructure.)

Unfortunately, Governor Cuomo intends to use the clean water funds to tear down the old TZ Bridge and other construction tasks associated with the $3.9 billion bridge replacement project. It is not the finest moment for a governor who vowed to end fiscal gimmickry. Particularly disturbing is that if Cuomo succeeds in taking — mainly federal — clean water funds for a bridge project, he will open the door for other governors to do the same.

Editorials Opposing Clean Water Fund Raid

New York Times 6/24/2014 “The proposal…clearly seems at odds with the revolving fund’s historic mission.”
Journal News 6/27/2014 “The latest betrayal of repeated promises of transparency.”
Times Union 6/30/2014 “Concern that this is bad precedent…why is all this money is sitting around to begin with?”
Watertown Daily Times 7/8/2014 “Gov. Cuomo could be shortchanging vital water improvement projects.”
Register Star 7/9/2014 “A half-billion dollars is a huge chunk of change to remove from this fund.”
Poughkeepsie Journal 7/10/2014 “The state needs a clear, unambiguous and transparent funding path.”
Times Herald Record 7/10/2014 “Rules (limiting spending to clean water) are being distorted beyond recognition.”
Times Union Column 7/7/2014 “Every aspect of this so-called loan is high chutzpah…”
Buffalo News 7/14/2014 “This questionable loan has had virtually no public input and no serious vetting.”