New York City Announces Plan to Reduce Fine Particulate Matter
On June 13, 2012, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a plan to reduce emissions of PM-2.5, or particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, in New York City by 50 percent over the next two years. The reduction target is linked to rules adopted by the City in 2011 to phase out the use of the heaviest heating oils, No. 4 and No. 6, in City buildings.
Mayor Bloomberg announced this target in conjunction with a $100 million loan financing plan being launched to help apartment buildings and other properties convert to lighter heating fuels, which is expected to yield $300 million in construction activity. Available to property owners for clean heat conversions, the financing plan starts with a City commitment of $5 million to create a loan loss reserve fund to back up much of the private financing to be made available to low- and moderate-income buildings. Financial institutions--including Chase, Deutsche Bank, Hudson Valley Bank, Citi, and the Community Preservation Corp.--have committed $90 million in private lending for such projects. The New York City Housing Development Corp. and the Housing Preservation and Development Department will offer $18 million more for mixed-income residential buildings.