Clean Heating Oil Campaign
New York’s buildings produce 86 percent of all soot pollution, and in an effort to combat health hazards associated with burning residual oil (also known as #6 and #4 heating oil), PlaNYC has called for a 30 percent reduction in all emissions coming from building.
The EPA has reported that air pollution contributes to 6 percent of all deaths in the city each year and “causes more than 3,000 deaths, 2,000 hospital admissions for lung and heart conditions, and approximately 6,000 emergency department visits for asthma in children and adults annually.” To combat this, Bloomberg launched the Urban Technology Innovation Center last year, in an effort to align buildings in NYC towards more eco-friendly technology, and sustainability principles.
The city plans to completely phase out dirty oil use by 2030, through different incentives, education efforts, and collective action. Specifically, through the Clean Heat campaign, and the NYC Service campaign, the city will collaborate with the Environmental Defense Fund, in an effort to educate building owners and tenants about public health hazards associated with #4 and #6 heating oils, as well as the steps a building owner can take to convert to cleaner fuels. The plan will take effect immediately.
Social Media as a Tool for Change
PlaNYC has also proposed launching a new social media tool called “Change by Us” to encourage New Yorkers to improve their local community by connecting them with the tools, resources, and people needed to make change happen. “Starting today, and again frequently throughout the year, the City will pose a question that residents can respond to by text message or through the Change by Us web and mobile sites,” the Mayor said.
The first question asks how can the city become greener through projects like storm water management, brownfield cleanup, parks stewardship, creation of new open spaces, energy efficiency, local air quality control, and community composting. “Change by Us” opened to a few select organizations today in its beta form, but will soon open for general public use. The goal is also to allow New Yorkers to make communities better, by connection with like minded individuals, and groups with similar project ideas, and connecting them with city agencies to help make improvements throughout the city.
The first four years of PlaNYC have been pretty great, so here’s hoping the next four are even better!