The NY Times reported today that the U.S. Dept. of the Interior has approced the environmental plan for the Mohawk / Empire Resorts casino at the Monticello Raceway. (Story) The approval was a major hurdle for the $600 million project, and moves the casino one big step closer to reality. Gov. Pataki is expected to issue his concurrence with the finding before he leaves office. There is one more major step before construction can actually begin, and that’s for the Mohawks and New York State to amend their compact and revenue sharing agreements. That task will fall to incoming governor Elliot Spitzer, who is also a supporter of casinos in the Catskills.