NYACK - A $256 million loan was approved today to pay for environmental protection costs associated with the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

The loan, approved in Albany by members of the Public Authorities Control Board, will be used in part to help pay for projects like the restoration of the Piermont marsh and the protection of endangered sturgeon and oyster beds.

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Only half of the original $511 million was approved because only 256 million is needed right now.

The loan came from the Environmental Facilities Corporation, or EFC, which normally provides loans for local sewer projects.

The loan will be paid back through toll collections all across the Thruway system.