New York City Local Law 43

Introduced in 2010 by Council Members Gennaro, Brewer, Fidler, James, Koppell, Lander, Sanders Jr., Van Bramer, Mark-Viverito, Lappin, Levin, Nelson, Garodnick, Crowley, Mendez, Vacca, Koslowitz, Recchia, Chin, Williams, Ferreras, Jackson and Barron.

To amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the use of clean heating oil in New York City.

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

Section 1. Legislative findings and intent. The Council finds that heating oil is a significant local source of air pollution in New York City. According to a report of the Environmental Defense Fund, the combustion of heating fuel is responsible for approximately 14% of the local emissions of fine particulate matter, more than vehicle traffic or power plants. Particulate matter and other pollutants, such as sulfur and heavy metals, contribute to asthma, heart disease and other public health problems.

The Council finds that the use of bioheating fuel would reduce the emission of air pollutants, reduce cleaning and maintenance costs, increase the ease of handling fuel oils, provide other operational benefits, strengthen the alternative fuels market, support regional farmers and local businesses, and increase energy independence and the diversity of our energy supply.

The Council further finds that No. 4 and No. 6 residual heating oils are more polluting than No. 2 distillate heating oil. According to the New York City Community Air Survey’s 2009 winter data report, the strongest predictor of particulate matter and sulfur dioxide in the air in New York City is the density of nearby buildings that burn fuel oil. Boilers burning heavier residual oils also require more maintenance because of the need to clean burners fouled by the high sulfur content of the oil and the need to heat the non-viscous oils before they can be pumped and burned. Accordingly, the Council finds that it is necessary to address pollutants from the heating oil sector by reducing the sulfur level of No. 4 oil. Read more