Over 100 Pizzerias Could Shut Down Due to NYC’s Green Rule

New York City could lose over 100 pizzerias due to a new government rule that requires shops using coal or wood-fired stoves reduce carbon emissions by 75%.

Ted Timbers confirmed the new rules last June, as a spokesman of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

Timbers stated in a press release at the time that “All New Yorkers should breathe clean air, and wood- and coal-fired appliances are the major contributors to harmful pollutants in areas with poor air quality.” This common-sense regulation, developed in conjunction with environmental justice and restaurant groups, calls for a professional assessment of whether emission controls are feasible.

Fox News reported that as pizzerias prepare for the new law, which will take effect April 27, many business owners have said they may be forced to close their doors for good.

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Paul Giannone, owner of Brooklyn’s Pizzeria Giannone, said that the regulation would go a long ways to end charming wood-fired pizzerias in New York City. “A sad day, in my opinion.”

Giannone said: “I believe putting this rule in place for all, whether it has an impact on neighboring properties or not, would be overkill.”

John’s on Bleecker Street, a Jewish bakery, spent over $100,000 to purchase a smoke-reduction system.

We were told that we had no other choice. Joey Schirripa, manager of the New York Post, told them that they could not live without their oven. We understand the direction that the city is heading in. “We want to be eco-friendly.”

According to The New York Post the new rule may require pizzerias that have ovens older than 2016 to spend upwards of $20,000. This will include ongoing maintenance costs.

Restaurants with wood- and coal-fired ovens are required to hire an architect or engineer to assess the feasibility to install emission control devices in order to achieve a reduction of 75% in particulate pollution.

If the report concludes that an emission reduction of at minimum 25% is not possible, or that there are no emission controls available, then it must specify any emission control measures that would allow for a reduction in emissions of at least that amount or explain why emission controls cannot be installed.

Lombardo’s, Arturo’s, John’s on Bleecker Street, and John’s at Little Italy are all iconic pizzerias that use wood or coal ovens. Paul Giannoni of Paulie Gees told the Post the filtration system could be “a big expense” as well as a “huge headache” with little upside.

According to the city rule, if an organization cannot meet this 75 percent threshold, it must also provide and assessment of their emissions reduction by 25 percent.