Capital New York:
In an unusual exchange of roles, the federal government is warning the state against a possible diversion of infrastructure funding from the city, while the New York City mayor is unconcerned.
Historically the E.P.A. has sent money to the state's Environmental Facilities Corporation, which then distributes that money in the form of low-interest loans to local governments, “primarily to build or upgrade wastewater treatment systems,” according to Enck. Then the municipalities repay the loans and replenish the fund.
In New York City's case, that money would go to the Municipal Water Finance Authority, the self-sufficient public authority that finances water and sewer capital projects with water usage fees and federal and state funds, some administered by the New York's Environmental Facilities Corporation.
Last year, the city used $317 million in Environmental Facilities Corporation funding, and it anticipates using $300 million a year over the next three years, according to Rahul Jain, a Citizens Budget Commission researcher. That, presumably, is how the E.P.A. got to $900 million.
(The E.P.A. responded to all questions with a statement promising to work with New York State to "ensure that all Clean Water State Revolving Fund spending is consistent with federal law.")
In a move that has rattled environmentalists and good-government advocates concerned about the state's and city's billions in unmet wastewater treatment needs, Cuomo recommended, and the authority he effectively controls agreed, that $511 million of that federal money should instead go toward projects related to his $4 billion replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge.
Two more state-controlled authorities still have to approve the loan.