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Policy Integrity Testifies at NY City Council Hearing on Clean Heating Oil

Policy Integrity legal fellow, Jason Schwartz, testified this afternoon at a hearing on a bill that would restrict the use of the dirtiest fuels used to heat some New York City apartments.

The testimony reflected the results of an analysis of the health benefits of a conversion away from residual oils—the dregs of the refining process are burned in about 9000 big buildings and generate toxic emissions. The policy brief uses three methodologies including newly available data to determine that the polluting fuel has even greater consequences than estimated in an earlier report.

The bill would require buildings to switch from residual oil (sometimes called #6 fuel) to one with a significantly lower sulfur content (known as #4 fuel).

Schwartz informed Councilmembers that the Policy Integrity “analysis finds that a full conversion of all residential, commercial, and institutional boilers from residual oil to low-sulfur #4 oil would likely save 84 lives per year in New York City, as the result of fewer fatal heart attacks and other deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory conditions aggravated by particulate matter.”