The Council of the City of New York
Office of Council Member Costa Constantinides
For Immediate Release
March 23, 2017
Contact: Shachar Sharon
Constantinides, Torres Start Petition for Cleaner Power Plants
Astoria, N.Y. – City Council Members Costa Constantinides and Ritchie Torres today announced the creation of an online petition that calls for cleaner power generation. All residents and community stakeholders are encouraged to sign the petition.
The petition calls for a plan to end the use of dirty fuel oils, which are linked to air pollutants that pose risk to public health including higher rates of asthma. It also supports their bill INT. 1465, which would accelerate the phase-out of #4 fuel oil, one of the dirtiest fuels available, to 2025.
Constantinides said, “As the Trump administration has proposed massive funding cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, New York must lead the way on combating climate change. Power plants have been notorious for emitting dangerous pollutants that risk our environment and public health. For decades, these plants have strongly contributed to increased respiratory illness, higher asthma rates, and other public health issues. By taking the steps called for in our petition, we will go a long way to ensuring a greener and more sustainable future for our city. I thank Council Member Torres for his partnership.”
“As the federal government starts on a path to dismantle environmental protections and deregulate power plants, we must take action on the local level. We encourage New Yorkers to sign our petition to show support for the phase out of dirty oil by 2025 and support Intro.1465. Together, we can ensure that NYC is a leader in protecting our environment,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres of the Bronx.
This petition is part of the Council Members’ work to create more sustainable and clean power generation practices throughout New York. They introduced INT. 1465 earlier this year, which would require power plant and building operators throughout the city to phase-out use of #4 fuel oil by 2025 rather than the currently mandated 2030 deadline.
Constantinides, Chair of the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee, previously held a committee oversight hearing on power plants and a press conference that called on plant operators to stop burning dirty fuel oils. This issue is especially important to Constantinides because over half of the city’s power is generated in plants located in Western Queens.
A majority of power plants in the city are old and use less-efficient designs, including the use of cheap and dirty fuel oils to generate power. These oils emit pollutants that pose risk to public health such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. Plants produce emissions concentrated in neighborhoods they’re located in, and many power plants in the city are located near public housing and low-income communities. Communities with power plants have worse air quality and higher rates of asthma and hospitalizations.
Council Member Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the chair the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee and sits on six additional committees: Civil Service & Labor, Contracts, Cultural Affairs, Oversight & Investigations, Sanitation, and Transportation. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.