“A very serious concern for public safety:” Broome County officials not happy with new discovery law

first_img“This is going to result in charges being dismissed against drug dealers and other drug offenders.” Another problem he said the law is causing: “We also have the New York State Police Crime Lab has informed us that they can not keep up with the demand of the drugs that we send up to be tested.” “We had a trial in county court last week where a witness who was a victim of a crime was contacted by the family of the defendant asking him if he was going to testify,” said Korchak. The mayor’s office estimates the current requirements of the law could cost the city between $150,000-$200,000 each year for additional personnel costs. “This is a very real situation, very serious concern for public safety,” said Korchak. He said not only does the law cut down on time, but also, “My fear is that witnesses will no longer come forward knowing that violent felons will immediately get their grand jury testimony, and most times these felons will be out of out custody when they get it.” Broome County District Attorney Michael Korchak has major bones to pick with the law. He says, “The discovery law creates a danger.” (WBNG) — Officials in Broome County are concerned about the new Discovery Law that took effect this year and the issues it poses for the community. Describing it, he said, “We have 1,500 felonies and several thousand misdemeanors that come through our system every year, we have to comply within 15 days all police reports, all witness statements, witness contact information has to be turned over, grand jury testimony has to be turned over, again, it’s an unworkable situation.” His fears continue to include more witness tampering and intimidation, a scenario that’s already happened in Broome County. “We’re asking lawmakers to take a step back, get the input of judges and district attorneys and make real changes to this law,” said Korchak. The two leaders, among others, want change. An issue he predicts could have a domino effect. Change, they say, is needed sooner rather than later. Binghamton Mayor Rich David explained the law is also negatively impacting the city’s police department by having to add personnel to keep up with its demands.last_img read more

Energy Efficiency and Economic Benefits Emphasized in DEP’s 2015 Climate Change Action Plan Update

first_img Efficiency,  Energy,  Government Reform,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today accepted the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) 2015 Climate Change Action Plan Update that details how increasing energy efficiency in all sectors and at all levels will play a key role in reducing Pennsylvania’s greenhouse gas emissions by target year 2030.The Pennsylvania Climate Change Act of 2008 mandated the Climate Change Action Plan in 2009 as well as updates every three years. The 2015 update presents data from the EPA State Inventory Tool for 2000 through 2012 (the most recent data available), showing an overall decrease of 15.93 percent in net emissions, reflecting a shift by some power plants from coal to natural gas, as well as the success of Pennsylvania’s energy efficiency programs. Overall, Pennsylvania’s total greenhouse emissions are projected to be lower in 2030 than in 2000, with reductions in the residential, commercial, transportation, agriculture and waste sectors.“Addressing climate change and the real impact on the health of our citizens, the costs of our businesses and the environment must be a priority for not just the commonwealth, but all sectors,” Governor Wolf said.The update presents 13 work plans to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. An economic analysis of the work plans included in the Plan shows that the majority have the potential to generate not only greenhouse gas emissions reductions but also significant improvements in total employment, total income and real disposable personal income.With Pennsylvania being the third largest emitter of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the country, additional reductions are needed. Pennsylvania will be 3°C (5.4°F) warmer by 2050 than it was in 2000, according to the 2015 Climate Impacts Assessment Report by the Penn State University Environment and Natural Resources Institute. The result will be dangerously high summer temperatures and more severe storms, increased threat of certain insect-borne diseases, and drastic changes to agriculture and water quality.“The consequences of inaction on climate change will be felt by all Pennsylvanians,” said DEP Acting Secretary McDonnell, “It will affect the food we grow, the energy we use, our recreation, and even our health.”The majority of work plans in the 2015 Climate Change Action Plan Update focus on energy efficiency measures. The greatest emissions reductions would be achieved by holding new buildings to an emissions performance standard 60 percent lower than the regional average. Sizable emissions reduction would also be attained by continuing Act 129 of 2008, which requires utilities to come up with plans to encourage energy efficiency among their customers, through 2031.Other work plans address coal mine methane recovery, the latest building energy codes, heating oil conservation and fuel switching, combined heat and power systems, ground source heat pumps, energy technical assistance for manufacturers, tree-planting programs, energy efficiency financing for homeowners, semi-truck adaptations, and anaerobic manure digesters.The plans were created in partnership with the Climate Change Advisory Committee, whose members include the secretaries of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Department of Community and Economic Development; the chair of the Public Utilities Commission; and Governor’s Office and legislative appointees. All plans were voted on, with most approved unanimously.The Center for Climate Strategies conducted macroeconomic analyses to determine the potential costs, benefits, and job impacts of the work plans. In addition to environmental benefits, the analysis shows economic benefits, including increased jobs.Highlighting the important role that all Pennsylvanians play in helping to lower emissions, the update includes 25 actions individuals can take, including lowering their energy use, finding energy efficiency financing, reducing food waste, and planting trees to absorb carbon.# # #Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Energy Efficiency and Economic Benefits Emphasized in DEP’s 2015 Climate Change Action Plan Update August 22, 2016center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more