Nov. 10, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
The City Council is planning to take a closer look at the emissions and efficiency of power plants throughout the city, 70 percent of which are in Astoria and Long Island City.
For the first time, the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee, which is chaired by Councilman Costa Constantinides, will take a comprehensive look at all of the power plants within the city in a committee oversight hearing on November 28th.
The hearing will examine the emissions from the largest power plants, what types of fuels are being burned, and what public utilities are doing to lower the emissions.
“It’s time to hold our public utilities accountable for their role in our city’s environmental health. It will take the cooperation of all stakeholders to combat climate change and move closer toward our goal of reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2050,” said Constantinides in a statement.
At the hearing, the Environmental Protection Committee will hear testimony from environmental advocacy groups, civic groups, city agencies and the public utilities.
The City’s power plants are about 40 years old, making them less efficient and more polluting than modern plants.
Though there are no figures available on the city’s carbon emissions, three of the city’s power plants that produce 80 percent of New York’s power are burning Number 6 fuel oil, which is the dirtiest type of fuel oil.
“We have implemented many innovative policies in our efforts to combat climate change, including increasing renewable energy sources and encouraging environmentally-friendly commuting methods,” Constantinides said in a statement. “These sustainable habits must be supplemented by more efficient fuel production at our power plants. This hearing will help us find ways we can improve our power plants in order to burn cleaner fuel,”
The hearing will be on November 28 at 10 a.m. in the 16th Floor Committee Room at 250 Broadway. Community organizations and members of the public are invited to sign up to testify in person at the beginning of the hearing.