New York City is about to criminalize how businesses bake.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is preparing to enforce rules that will result in huge fines.
For centuries humans have used fire to bake bread.
Wood and coal-fired baking ovens will no longer be allowed.
“All New Yorkers deserve to breathe healthy air and wood and coal-fired stoves are among the largest contributors of harmful pollutants in neighborhoods with poor air quality,” DEP spokesman Ted Timbers said in a statement Sunday. “This common-sense rule, developed with restaurant and environmental justice groups, requires a professional review of whether installing emission controls is feasible.”
They say prohibiting eateries from using the centuries-old cooking method will cut emissions by 75%.
But the city isn’t just requiring them to install scrubbers.
From the New York Post:
Under the mandate, restaurants with coal-and-wood-fired ovens must hire an engineer or architect to assess the feasibility of installing emission controls devices to achieve a 75% reduction in particulate emissions.
If this report concludes that a reduction of 75% or more cannot be achieved, or that no emissions controls can be installed, it must identify any emission controls that could provide a reduction of at least 25% or an explanation for why no emission controls can be installed.
The restaurant will be allowed to apply for a variance or waiver, but must providence evidence to prove a hardship.
Once the rule passes, restaurants with such ovens in place before May 2016 would be forced to install emissions control devices that cost around $20,000.
“Oh yeah, it’s a big expense!” said Paul Giannone, the owner of Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint. “It’s not just the expense of having it installed, it’s the maintenance. I got to pay somebody to do it, to go up there every couple of weeks and hose it down and you know do the maintenance.”
The city has no plans to help the businesses and is forcing them to eat the cost.