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Andrew Yang embraces plan to build NYC’s first green energy hub in Queens

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Andrew Yang is backing a plan to convert the dormant Long Island City waterfront into the city’s first green energy hub if elected, the mayoral candidate told The Post.

Yang on Wednesday will hold an event along the Queens side of the East River — near the site where e-tail giant Amazon had intended to build a giant East Coast headquarters.

But the Amazon project fizzled out two years ago following local opposition.

Yang is now endorsing an ambitious $250 million proposal to build a green energy plant that would generate power for local residents and businesses — including NYCHA’s Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing complex in the country.

Yang emphasized the River Green Power project — to be built on private poverty on Vernon Boulevard between 43rd and 44th Avenue — will create good jobs to help spur a Big Apple economic revival from the pandemic-fueled recession as well as generate clean energy for the area.

“Our City lost 700,000 jobs during the pandemic and the truth is that right now our recovery is behind much of the rest of the country. As mayor, I’m going to be laser focused on creating jobs and getting New Yorkers back to work,” Yang said.

Andrew Yang greeting supporters on March 23, 2021.
Andrew Yang greets supporters in NYC on March 23, 2021.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

“Beyond the extraordinary challenge we have ahead of us to rebuild our city’s economy, we also have to think about how we can create jobs that also fight the threat of climate change. And I believe we can do both right here in communities like Long Island City.”

He continued, “the proposed River Green Power plant is exactly the kind of innovative, job-creating green infrastructure projects we should be backing not just to get our city back on its feet, but back on its feet and sprinting towards the future. This project alone will create 1,000 of those jobs and a sustainable source of energy for years to come.”

The Post exclusively reported last week week that Bruce Teitelbaum, the general partner of RiverLinC, has held preliminary discussions with city and state officials about building a plant there that could provide eco-friendly energy to others in the area — generated from river water, as well as through solar and geothermal energy. Michigan-based DTE Energy would build and operate the plant.

In addition to construction of a geothermal heating and cooling plant, the RGP plant would raise private capital to upgrade NYCHA Queensbridge Houses’ buildings’ heating and cooling systems.

Yang said Queensbridge residents now must rely on decades-old steam heating systems and many tenants do not have any air conditioning.

The River Green Power system will provide air conditioning services for the entire facility.

The plan also calls for job training for Queensbridge residents and scholarships for young residents.

A Yang supporter holding a sign for the candidate on March 23, 2021.
A Yang supporter holds a sign for the candidate on March 23, 2021.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Queensbridge tenants are excited about the project.

April Simpson Taylor, president of the Queensbridge Houses Tenants Association said, “this plant will do right by our tenants by providing reliable and sustainable energy to the Queensbridge Houses at no cost to residents.”

The $250 million privately financed green geothermal power plant facility would be the centerpiece of a pilot green energy district, which have already been successfully built in cities like Toronto.

The plant would use a combination of an intake-outtake system with the East River as well as 500 geothermal bores each drilled down to 850 feet to provide sustainable heating and cooling services for neighboring buildings, via a closed system of water circulation integrated with the ventilation systems of individual buildings.

The system would drastically reduce reliance on fossil fuels to heat and cool buildings, and eventually provide carbon-free energy when fully operational, planners said.

Local building owners in the area could, but would not be required to, opt-in to the system.

MEP Geothermal Engineering, which recently designed Cornell Tech’s geo-exchange system just across the East River on Roosevelt Island, will design the Green River plant.

The project is estimated to create over 1,000 jobs as part of the construction, design, engineering, and operations and ongoing maintenance and service jobs when completed.

The Green River Power proposal comes as President Biden is pushing Congress to approve a massive infrastructure program that would finance renewable energy projects like Green River Power to curb climate change and generate jobs.

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NYPD releases video of gunman firing into group in the Bronx

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New video tweeted by the NYPD Sunday shows a gunman wildly firing down a Bronx street into a group of people in Fordham Manor, leaving two men wounded, cops said.

“WANTED for ASSAULT: Do you know this guy?” the NYPD wrote on Twitter.

“On 6/25/21 at approx 11:10 PM, in front of 2710 Morris Ave in the Bronx, the suspect fired several rounds towards a group, striking a 26-year-old male and a 20-year-old. Any info? DM @NYPDTips, or anonymously call them at 800-577-TIPS.”

The suspect who shot at a group of people in the Bronx on June 25, 2021.
The suspect who shot at a group of people in the Bronx on June 25, 2021.
NYPD
The suspect firing the gun in the Bronx.
The suspect firing the gun in the Bronx.
NYPD
The shooting left two people injured, according to the NYPD.
The shooting left two people injured, according to the NYPD.
NYPD

The 26-year-old was shot in the buttocks and the 20-year-old was shot in the leg, police said. Both were expected to survive.

The victims said they were standing with a group of friends when the “guy just came up and started shooting,” a police spokesman said.

No words were exchanged, video shows. 

There were no immediate arrests.

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FDA finds peeling paint, debris at US plant making J&J’s COVID vaccine

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A US plant that was making Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine must fix a long list of problems including peeling paint and unsanitary conditions and practices to resume operation, according to a highly critical report by the Food and Drug Administration.

Experts said addressing the issues raised in the scathing FDA inspection report could take months.

Neither J&J nor the FDA has said when they expect vaccine production to restart at the Baltimore plant owned by Emergent Biosolutions. Only two other plants are currently equipped to supply the world with the key drug substance for J&J’s vaccine.

“It may take many months to make these changes,” said Prashant Yadav, a global health care supply chain expert at the Center for Global Development. He described some of the issues raised by the FDA as “quite significant.”

No vaccine manufactured at the Emergent plant has been distributed for use in the United States. However, J&J said it will exercise its oversight authority to ensure that all of the FDA observations are addressed promptly and comprehensively.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on a pause in the US over a potential link to a blood clotting condition.
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The health care conglomerate has drawn scrutiny for months over its halting process to scale up production of a vaccine that is easier to handle and, by virtue of being a single shot, easier to use than other authorized vaccines.

Its use in the United States has been paused since last week as health officials study a possible link to a very rare but serious blood clot condition.

Emergent has been seeking regulatory authorization to make the J&J vaccine in the United States. It stopped production at the plant recently, saying the FDA had asked it to do so after an inspection.

J&J’s plant in Leiden, the Netherlands, is still producing doses for the world. It has another facility in India, which is currently curtailing exports of the shot as it struggles to vaccinate its own population.

Johnson & Johnson reiterated on Wednesday that it was working to establish a global supply chain in which 10 manufacturing sites would be involved in the production of its COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to the Leiden plant.

The company has a US government-brokered agreement with rival drugmaker Merck, which is preparing to make doses of J&J’s vaccine.

Failure to train personnel

The FDA in its final 12-page inspection report said it had reviewed security camera footage in addition to an in-person site visit to the Emergent plant.

It found a failure to train personnel to avoid cross-contamination of COVID-19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, which had also been produced at the site. The agency also cited staff carrying unsealed bags of medical waste in the facility, bringing it in contact with containers of material used in manufacturing.

The FDA reviewed security camera footage and visited the Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore.
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Earlier this week, the House launched an investigation into whether Emergent used its relationship with a Trump administration official to get a vaccine manufacturing contract despite a record of not delivering on contracts.

Emergent said in a statement that it is working with the FDA and J&J to quickly resolve the issues outlined in the report.

Production of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet authorized for use in the United States, was previously stopped at the Emergent plant after ingredients from that shot contaminated a batch of J&J vaccine, ruining millions of doses.

The FDA also noted that Emergent did not produce adequate reports showing that the vaccines it was producing met quality standards.

The inspection, carried out between April 12 and April 20, also found the building not of suitable size or design to facilitate cleaning, maintenance or proper operations.

J&J said it was redoubling its efforts to get authorization for the facility as quickly as possible.

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One dead after pair of fires breaks out in Manhattan

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One person was killed and several others were injured in a pair of Manhattan fires Wednesday morning, officials said.

The first blaze erupted in Midtown around 8:15 a.m. inside a DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse at 213 W. 34th St., where an escalator became fully engulfed in flames — sending smoke billowing into the first and second floor and the interconnected 40-story hotel building, fire officials said.

It was not immediately clear which hotel it was.

Five firefighters suffered minor injuries putting out the blaze.

“The fire went out, but we have a smoke condition that we’re trying to alleviate,” FDNY Battalion Chief John Porretto said at the scene. “Units are going to remain on scene until all the smoke alleviates.”

The fire marshal will determine the causes of the fire.

A second blaze broke out 15 minutes later on the Upper East Side at 1576 2nd Ave., officials said.

A three-alarm fire at 213 W. 34th Street in Manhattan that left one dead
A three-alarm fire at 213 W. 34th St. in Manhattan left one dead.
NYFD

One man died in the fire and a second man was in serious condition at Lenox Hill Hospital, police said.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries battling the blaze and was taken to Cornell Hospital, fire officials said.

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