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300 protest in LIC over generators

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A lawsuit is also planned by Silvercup Studios at 42-25 21st St. because the two temporary generators slated to be built near the Long Island City studio may interfere with television production. Silvercup officials have said they may have to reconsider their plans to expand their facility to six acres along the East River.

Silvercup representatives said Monday night the National Resources Defense Council, a national non-profit environmental group, was also interested in joining the lawsuit against the generators, which are needed to avert power shortages next summer.

Borough President Claire Shulman said NYPA's proposal was poorly planned because the site is right near prime real estate.

The two proposed NYPA generations are "a few blocks away from the Queens West development, where 6,3000 units of new housing, 2 million square feet of office space, a waterfront promenade, a school and other development are eagerly anticipated," Shulman said to resounding applause.

Last week Shulman joined Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to break ground at the new apartment complex building in Hunters Point, the first of three new luxury rental buildings slated for development at Queens West.

The new building, covering 74 acres of land, will be located on Center Boulevard, directly across the East River from the United Nations and is expected to open in spring 2002.

"The proposed generators also threaten to chase away millions of dollars of investment in Queens and New York City," Shulman told the 300 people who attended. "Silvercup Studios would effectively be denied use of this site for new sound stages and production facilities because of the noise and vibration coming from the generators."

Lorraine Bracco of the HBO show "The Sopranos, which films at Silvercup Studios, also spoke against the generators. as the crowd held up signs that read "No New Power plants on the Long Island City Waterfront" and "NYPA Condemns L.I.C. Waterfront ."

The New York Power Authority announced in October it had selected the sites for nine of 11 small electric generators that were purchased in August for a total of $220 million from General Electric Packaged Power Inc. to avert a power supply problem, said a spokesman for the NYPA. The 44-megawatt gas turbines are to generate power for New York City beginning in June 2001 until the completion of three larger new plants, which are expected to be on line within the next two or three years.

U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) echoed the borough president's sentiments.

"Long Island City and its waterfront represents one of Queens' and New York City's brightest opportunities for present and future development," Crowley said. "Long-planned development is now coming to fruition with the development of several new residential projects and an influx of new business into the area. We cannot put our progress in jeopardy with this short-sighted proposal."

The purchase and the placement of the turbines are a result of last year's decision by the state to dismantle the electric-utility monopolies so customers could choose their own energy providers. New York state is now moving from a system in which Con Ed produced and supplied most of the city's electricity to an arrangement under which Con Ed and other utilities buy power from private electrical power generators. The suppliers will now deliver the energy to New York through their distribution systems.

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