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Heating Oil

New Yorkers burn more than 1 billion gallons of heating oil every year which accounts for nearly 14% of fine particulate matter pollutants emitted into our air; more PM2.5 emissions than all cars and trucks in the city combined. This particulate matter contains many pollutants that are associated with respiratory and cardiac diseases. The City published a rule that requires all boilers in New York City burn low sulfur Number2 oil or natural gas. Low sulfur Number 2 oil — anew class of fuel created by state law — contains only 15 ppm of sulfur, compared to 3,000 ppm incurrent Numbers 4 and 6 heating oil. Upon full implementation, these regulations will reduce the amount of fine particles emitted from heating buildings by at least 63%. They could lower the overall concentration of fine particles in the city’s air from all sources by 5%. We estimate that these air quality improvements could prevent approximately 200 deaths, 100 hospitalizations, and 300 emergency room visits for illnesses caused by air pollution each year. The regulations will also reduce carbon dioxide by approximately one million metric tons.

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