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NYC’s Green Obsession Could Shutter Over 100 Wood-Fired Pizzerias

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Over 100 pizzerias could shut down in New York City due to the government’s new green rule forcing shops that use coal and wood-fired stoves to cut carbon emissions by 75 percent.

Ted Timbers, spokesman for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, confirmed the new rules in June of last year. [emphasis, links added]

“All New Yorkers deserve to breathe healthy air and wood and coal-fired stoves are among the largest contributors of harmful pollutants in neighborhoods with poor air quality,” Timbers said in a statement at the time. “This common-sense rule, developed with restaurant and environmental justice groups, requires a professional review of whether installing emission controls is feasible.”

As pizzerias gear up for the new law to take effect on April 27, several business owners told Fox News they will have to shut down for good.

“This regulation will go a long way to put an end to charming wood-fired pizza restaurants in New York City,” Brooklyn pizzeria owner Paul Giannone said. “A sad day in my opinion.”

“I think putting this regulation in place for everyone, regardless if it’s having an impact on neighbors or not, is overkill,” Giannone added.

One Jewish bakery had to spend over $600,000 to install an air filtration system, while John’s of Bleecker Street spent more than $100,000 on a smoke-reduction system.

“We were told we had no choice. We have no business without our oven,” manager Joey Schirripa told the New York Post. “We understand the direction the city is going in. We want to be environmentally friendly.”

According to the New York Post, the new rule will likely require pizzerias with pre-2016 ovens to pay upwards of $20,000 to install air-filtration systems, which will include continued maintenance costs:

Under the mandate, restaurants with coal-and-wood-fired ovens must hire an engineer or architect to assess the feasibility of installing emission controls devices to achieve a 75% reduction in particulate emissions.

If this report concludes that a reduction of 75% or more cannot be achieved, or that no emissions controls can be installed, it must identify any emission controls that could provide a reduction of at least 25% or an explanation for why no emission controls can be installed.

Iconic pizzerias with coal or wood ovens that could be subject to the rule include Lombardo’s in Little Italy, Arturo’s in Soho, and John’s of Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village.

Paul Giannoni, owner of Paulie Gee’s, told the Post that the filtration system can be a “big expense” and a “huge hassle” with few upsides.

The city’s rule also says that if a business cannot meet the 75 percent requirement, they must provide an assessment to see if they cut emissions by 25 percent.

Top photo by Fabrizio Pullara on Unsplash

Read more at Breitbart

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