New NYC DEP rules could cost pizzerias a lot of dough

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, June 26, 2023
New NYC DEP rules could cost pizzerias a lot of dough
Proposed new rules could cost New York City pizzerias a lot of dough. Darla Miles has the details.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Proposed new rules could cost New York City pizzerias a lot of dough.

The regulations, which stipulate that businesses could not use a new oven without an emission control device, were actually passed back in 2016.

Businesses needed to be compliant by January 2020, but that was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This was done, I heard in 2016, that's news to me," said Frank Santora of Grimali's Coal Brick-Oven Pizza. "I didn't hear about it back then."

The coal oven isn't going anywhere, but the city is asking pizzeria owners to install a scrubber, which recirculates the smoke into clean air.

According to DEP, this could affect as many as 60 pizzerias which may or may not be in compliance.

On Monday, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection announced it would be holding a virtual public hearing on July 27 at 11 a.m. about the guidelines.

"Let's let the public weigh in, and then we can have a conversation if we're going to move forward or not," Mayor Eric Adams said.

Coal-fired ovens are a major source of air pollutants and the devices could help cut carbon emissions by up to 75%.

But pizzeria owners say the the devices will cost them tens of thousands of dollars and they're worried it could affect the taste of their iconic pies.

"Some pizzerias are concerned that it could change the flavor. I don't know if that's true or not, but I don't want to spend 20, 30 thousand dollars and screw up the pizza," Frank Santora with Grimali's Coal Brick-Oven Pizza said.

You can read the full DEP rule by using the keyword "cook" in the 2016 Air Pollution Control Code:

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