August 24th - August 30th, 2007
New Standards for Green Buildings in New York State
August 28th: New environmental standards will be required for dozens of construction projects throughout New York State, reports Metro New York. The U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction, established the new standards, according to reports.
A New York State agency that provides funding for construction services for public and private university and health care facilities known as The Dormitory Authority is one organization that will now require that all new projects meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, according to Metro's report. State officials have said that they expect to see billions of dollars invested in green construction projects in years to come as more companies launch similar eco-friendly initiatives.
Governor Spitzer Vetoes Bill for More Building Inspections in NYC
August 29th: After calls from Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reject a pending bill that would require additional inspections in New York City buildings, Governor Eliot Spitzer vetoed the plan this week, The New York Times reports. The bill was introduced by Assemblyman James F. Brennan of Brooklyn in an effort to see that safety standards for citywide construction projects are more rigorously enforced.
Mr. Brennan told the Times that he has seen a "longstanding disregard for public safety at construction projects" in his district, and that the bill was introduced as an attempt to pass legislation to further safeguard potentially hazardous sites in the city. He has called the veto a "regrettable" decision on the part of Governor Spitzer, according to reports.
Governor Spitzer's office explained that Brennan's bill would have increased the number of inspections, but would have also diverted attention away from "the most dangerous violations," reports the Times. An official for the Governor added that the bill would also have conflicted with new nomenclature in the city's new building code, which goes into effect next year.
New Ferry Service to Lower Manhattan to Begin Next Week
August 29th: A new ferry service that will shuttle commuters between Rockland county and Lower Manhattan is scheduled to begin next week. The New York Water Taxi will run the new ferry and has said that it hopes to attract around 100 people per day, reports Newsday. The service will cost commuters $450 for a book of tickets good for 40 trips.
Once it begins, the service will stop in Yonkers before moving on to Lower Manhattan. Estimated times for rides are: 45-minutes to Yonkers, 90-minutes to the World Financial Center, and 102-minutes to Wall Street's Pier 11, according to Newsday's report.
A Look Back on This Weeks Coverage of 130 Liberty
August 30: Heavy news coverage continued this week regarding the fire at 130 Liberty on August 18th, 2007. Early in the week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office issued a press release stating that the city has been "working around the clock" in the aftermath of the Deutsche Bank building fire.
In the Mayor's weekly briefing he noted that the city's response includes collaborations between the Office of Emergency Management, the New York Fire Department, the Buildings Departments, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the NYPD. All of which, he says, have had key roles in "responding to and mitigating the effects of the fire," according to the Mayor's release, which is available on the City of New York's website.
Aggressive air testing continues and repair work on scaffolding, clearing broken glass, and other repairs, are among the top priorities. Additionally, protocols for governing the decontamination and deconstruction that will need to continue at the Deutsche Bank site are also being developed. The Mayor assured the public that the safety of the first responders and the containment of any environmental hazards at the site are being taken very seriously and will continue to be addressed moving forward.
Reports of three Fire Commissioners relieved of their duties as a result of their actions in relation to the fire have also received widespread coverage. On Wednesday night, two officials from Bovis Lend Lease attended a community board meeting in Lower Manhattan in which it answered some questions from members of the community. They said that the firm is currently developing a new safety plan and expects to have the broken standpipe repaired and operational by Friday, August 31st.