Mayor Touts NYC Clean Heating Oil Mandate at Earth Day Event
On Friday, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg drew fresh attention to the city’s planned phase-out of inefficient and dirty-burning number 4 and number 6 heating oils at an event celebrating Earth Day. The mayor’s event at a Harlem performing arts space was primarily a progress update on the city’s PlaNYC: A Greener, Greater New York initiative, but included a detailed rundown of the clean heating oil plan, called the Clean Heat Campaign. According to a press release from the mayor’s office,
The City has today adopted a rule that phases out the use of heavy heating oils and will accelerate conversion to cleaner fuels like natural gas and low-sulfur #2 oil through a combination of incentives, streamlined permitting, education and collective action.
The event marked the enactment of clean heating oil rules that were introduced in January of this year aimed at phasing out the use of number 6 heating oil in New York City by 2015 and the use of number 4 heating oil by 2030. Heating oils number 4 and 6 are known as residual fuels, and constitute the sticky and soot-laden remains of the refining process. The black smoke emitted by burners fueled by number 4 and 6 oils is full of particulates and sulfur dioxide, both of which are extremely harmful to the respiratory health of local residents.
The city is encouraging building owners to switch their heating systems to run on natural gas or low-sulfur number 2 heating oil, the fuel utilized by most residential heating oil consumers. Under a separate mandate signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg last summer, all heating oil burned in New York City will have to contain 1,500 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur or less and at least 2 percent biodiesel beginning in October of this year.