Testimony

The Real Estate Board of New York to The Committee on Environmental Protection on Int 470-2022

REBNY Press

June 6, 2022

REBNY thanks the Committee for the opportunity to testify on the retiring of no. 4 oil.

BILL: Int 470-2022

SUBJECT: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to phasing out the use of fuel oil grade no. 4

SPONSORS: Council Members Gennaro, Cabán, Brannan, Brewer, Joseph, and Nurse.

Int. 470 expedites the phase-out of No. 4 oil to no later than January 1, 2025. To do so, the bill creates two tiers of retiring no. 4 oil, first requiring the end of use of no. 4 oil by December 31, 2023, for buildings that have:

  • a boiler that uses natural gas as primary fuel and fuel oil grade no. 4 as a backup fuel, other than a boiler used to generate electricity and/or steam in an electric, steam, or combined electric and steam generation facility;

  • a boiler that uses an above-ground oil storage tank, other than a boiler used to generate electricity and/or steam in an electric, steam, or combined electric and steam generation facility; or

  • a newly installed boiler.

The bill would require all other buildings to end the use of no. 4 oil by January 1, 2025.

REBNY supports this legislation.

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. For the past several years, New York City has 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 level in the city held steady at 7 μg/m3. 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 accounts for a significant portion of heating-related PM2.5.

Moreover, the acceleration of the phase-out of no. 4 oil is consistent with our shared climate goal of reduce carbon emissions from buildings and is a necessary action in our fight against climate change.

Thank you for the consideration of these points.