On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other political leaders announced the most comprehensive update to the city's Air Pollution Control Code since 1975 as individuals around the world celebrate the 44th annual Earth Day.
De Blasio, along with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Donovan Richards and Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd announced new changes that include updating emission standards and focusing on pollution sources that have few emission control requirements or none at all.
Those emissions include tiny particulates created by commercial charboilers, refrigerator vehicles, food trucks and fireplaces, all of which bring about asthma, according to the press release. On Wednesday, the New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection will hold a hearing on Intro 271, legislation introduced by Richards to classify and organize revisions to the Air Code.
"Today's reforms — the biggest in a generation — will make a fundamental difference for thousands of New Yorkers living with asthma and pave the way for other cities around the nation to follow suit," de Blasio said in a statement.
"Passing this importance piece of legislation will allow DEP to address localized sources of pollution that currently have little or no emission control requirements, and this will prevent hundreds of New Yorkers from getting sick or dying from air pollution related illnesses," Lloyd said in a statement.
The revisions are part of the city's PlaNYC sustainability blueprint, a plan created by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2007 to prepare the city for one million more residents by strengthening the city's economy, dealing with climate change and improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers. The city's NYC Clean Heat Program helped reduce sulfur dioxide pollution by 69 percent since 2008 as well as particular matter, by 23 percent since 2007.