Testimony

The Real Estate Board of New York to The Committee on Environmental Protection on Int. 980

Zachary Steinberg

Vice President, Policy & Planning

January 25, 2021

With the launch of PlaNYC in 2007, New York set the ambitious goal of having the cleanest air quality of any major city in the country by 2030.  NYC has for the past several years recorded an average EPA Air Quality Index of less than 50, which is “good,” but our air quality can still be improved. The most prevalent pollutant in NYC air is PM2.5, or fine particulate matter, and between 2018 and 2019 the city’s level held steady at 7 μg/m3 and increased since 2017. While the EPA deems anything less than 10 μg/m3 acceptable, the World Health Organization is clear that any level of PM2.5 pollution poses public health risks, increasing rates of cardiopulmonary illnesses. To protect New Yorkers and meet our air quality goals, the City needs to address the largest contributors of pollutants, and no. 4 oil, while only used in less than 1% buildings, accounts for the majority of the NYC heating related PM2.5, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

REBNY supports our collective environmental goals and continues to work with the City to find practicable steps the real estate industry can take to help make New York City more sustainable and safer for all New Yorkers. We believe this bill works to that end.