Governor Spitzer Announces Energy Plan
Albany, N.Y. – Governor Eliot Spitzer announced April 17 a comprehensive plan for reducing energy costs and curbing pollution in New York. The plan focuses on energy efficiency, conservation, and investment in renewable energy sources as the keys to achieving economic and environmental goals.
Goals and highlights of the new plan include the following: Reduce electricity use by 15 percent from forecasted levels by the year 2015 through new energy efficiency programs in industry and government; Create new appliance efficiency standards and set more rigorous energy building codes; Invest $295 million for renewable energy projects throughout the state; and; Propose power plant siting legislation that creates an expedited review process for new wind power projects, re-powering projects that reduce emissions, and other power plants that have very low levels of carbon dioxide emissions.
The overall plan — which is believed to be among the most aggressive in the nation — was met with broad approval from the energy industry and environmental organizations.
Tropicana Casino Settlement Announced
Atlantic City, N.J. – A settlement package of $101 million was announced April 14 by a New Jersey Superior Court judge and attorneys representing the families of the four construction workers killed and more than 30 others injured in the October 30, 2003 collapse of the Tropicana Casino parking garage. The settlement includes approximately $82.5 million in cash, $2 million in previously settled cases, approximately $8.2 million of workers compensation payments to victims that will not have to be repaid, and more than $8.3 million in future medical expenses.
The following defendants are among the parties to the settlement: Tropicana, Keating Building Corporation, the general contractor, Midstate Filigree Systems, Inc., Fabi Construction, Inc., the concrete subcontractor, DeSimone Consulting Engineers, the project's structural engineer, and Site-Blauvelt Engineers, which inspected the concrete and reinforcing steel. The fatalities, all New Jersey residents, were Michael Wittland, 53, of Pleasantville and James Bigelow, 29, of Egg Harbor Township, both iron workers; and Robert Tartaglio Jr., 42, of Galloway Township and Scott Pietrosante, 21, of Milmay, Buena Vista Township, laborers for Fabi.