The government has decided to target New York City’s pizza in order to combat climate change. New York City is reportedly going to increase the heat on wood- and coalfired pizzerias in an effort to reduce pollution.
The New York Post reported Sunday that the New York City Department of Environmental Protection had drafted new regulations to force restaurants using wood- and coal-fired stoves to reduce their emissions.
New rules could force pizzerias that installed wood- and coal-fired stoves before May 2016 install and purchase emission-control devices. According to reports, the restaurants will need to hire an architect or engineer to assess the possibility of integrating emissions control mechanisms in order to reduce particulate emission by 75%.
If the report concludes that a reduction in emissions of at least 75% is not possible, or that no emission control can be installed, then it must either identify emission controls which could achieve a minimum reduction of 25%, or explain why they cannot be installed.
Ted Timbers, spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection, said in a Sunday statement that “All New Yorkers should be able to breathe clean air. Wood and coal-fired appliances are major contributors of pollutants in areas with poor air quality.” This commonsense rule was developed in conjunction with environmental justice and restaurant groups. It requires a professional to review whether it is possible to install emission controls.
According to a city official, the Post reported that the new regulations would affect less than 100 restaurants.
New rules are likely to affect some of New York City’s oldest and most famous pizzerias including Totonno’s and Grimaldi’s.
A pizza restaurant owner who uses a coal-fired pizza oven said to the New York Post that “this is an unfunded requirement and it will cost us a fortune. Not to mention that we’ll ruin the taste of our pizza, destroying the whole product.”
The owner screamed, “If you mess around with the oven temperature you will change the taste.” It’s an art and science to keep the temperature perfect with that pipe, chimney or whatever size it is. “You kill the pizza if you take out the char.”
The restaurateur asked, “And for why?” Do you really believe that these pizza ovens will change the environment?
Paul Giannoni has installed an air filter system worth $20,000 in Greenpoint in anticipation of the new rule.
Giannoni said, “Oh, yeah, that’s a huge expense!” Not only is the installation expensive, but also the maintenance. “I have to pay someone to do it. To go up there every two weeks and hose down the system, and do maintenance.”
Giannoni stated that his neighbors are pleased that the oven emits less smoke. He also said that the scrubber had not changed the taste of pizza.