FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION IMPROVING AIR QUALITY IN NEW YORK CITY
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The first set of bills before me are Introductory Numbers 414-A, 415-A, 416-A, 417-A and 428-A, sponsored by Speaker Miller and Council Members, Gennaro, McMahon, Liu, Yassky, Quinn, Avella, Boyland, Brewer, Clarke, Comrie, Fidler, Gerson, Gioia, Gonzalez, James, Jennings, Koppell, Martinez, Monserrate, Nelson, Palma, Recchia, Reed, Rivera, Sanders, Stewart, Vallone, Weprin, DeBlasio, Lopez, Gentile, Foster, Baez, Moskowitz, Katz, Jackson, Barron, Perkins, Reyna, Seabrook, Addabbo, Foster, Oddo, Gallagher and the Public Advocate, Betsy Gotbaum. Together, these bills establish guidelines for reducing emissions from light, medium and diesel-powered motor vehicles in the City's fleet.
"New York City has long been recognized as a national leader in the acquisition of low-emission vehicles and the use of alternative fuel and pollution control technologies. Almost 15 years ago, the City enacted Local Law 6 of 1991, requiring that 80% of the light-duty vehicles the City purchased be alternative fuel vehicles. I'm happy to report we've consistently met or exceeded that goal. In fact, alternative fuel vehicles made up almost 90% of the light-duty vehicles purchased in 2004. We now have the largest hybrid fleet in the nation. In addition, many of the City's diesel fleets have moved to the exclusive use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel-well ahead of Federal requirements to do so. Further, the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel facilitates the use of new emission reduction technologies, resulting in even greater environmental benefits. Local Law 77, which I signed into law in 2003, expanded on this approach by requiring the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel and retrofit technology to control emissions from non-road vehicles used by City agencies or used on City projects-a small, but critical step toward improving the air we breathe.
"The five pieces of legislation before me today use aggressive procurement and operational requirements to build on these efforts. Intro. Number 414-A requires the City to purchase the lowest emitting light- or medium-duty vehicle available that meets the requirements for the City's intended use. The bill also calls for a twenty percent increase in fuel economy for all new vehicles purchased over the next ten years, and requires the Department of Sanitation to assess the feasibility of incorporating new alternative fuel sanitation vehicles and technology into its fleet. Intro. 415-A also requires the City's on-road diesel vehicles to use ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and either retrofit with the best available emission control technology or replace these vehicles with newer, cleaner burning models that meet certain EPA emission standards.
"Intro. 416-A extends the ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and emission control requirements to vehicles used in fulfilling City solid waste and recycling contracts. In addition, Intro. 417-A calls for licensed sight-seeing companies to control emissions from their buses by installing the best available emission control technology or replacing existing buses with newer, cleaner burning vehicles. Finally, Introductory 428-A requires buses used to transport New York City's public school students protect our children from harmful diesel emissions by requiring the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and the best available emission control technology.
"While addressing New York City's overall air quality requires regional and national solutions, this package of legislation will go a long way toward improving the environmental health of our city and ensuring clean air for all.
"I would like to thank the City Council, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd, Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Martha Hirst, Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall, and all of their staff for their leadership and hard work on this issue. I would also like to recognize Chris Manning from my office of City Legislative Affairs for his efforts coordinating all the affected agencies and the City Council to help develop this important package of legislation."
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
View the photos
Watch the video in 56k or 300k