NYC sets deadline for pizzerias to cut down pollutants

New York City is requiring coal-fired and wood stoves to cut their emissions by 75% and they must accomplish this no later than April 27th.

The requirement affects about 130 pizzerias across the city - and sparked outrage when first introduced last year.

FOX 5 NY spoke with Adem Brija from the original Patsy’s location on 1st Avenue off 177th Street, here since 1933. Brija said it will be a significant cost. 

"I’ve seen a big range, but I’ve seen it for no less than $20,000 - as high as $100,000 and a system like this will have to be maintained," Brija said.

The NRDC supported the change, saying on their blog:

"Uncontrolled cook stoves, like wood- and coal-burning pizza ovens, discharge particulate emissions and noxious odors, affecting thousands of residents in the nation’s most densely populated city, where apartment windows are often located just yards away from restaurant exhausts."

Brija agreed it should be done, but is asking the city to provide financial incentives like other climate-minded tax breaks of subsidies to help pizzerias - especially smaller ones who might not be able to afford the new system. 

As for the bottom line, Brija, who served on the local community board, said making the air cleaner is good for everyone.

"We have an exceptionally high asthma rate in this neighborhood," Brija said. "It’s part of doing business, and it’s part of being a good neighbor. I can’t be too mad at that," Brija said.