FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES NEW EFFORTS TO HELP NEW YORKERS LIVE LONGER, HEALTHIER LIVES IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, August 1, 2010
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"As a result of our investments in health over the past eight and a half years, New Yorkers are now living longer than ever. In fact, since we took office in 2002, the city's average life expectancy has grown by 19 months. But we haven't stopped looking for ways to help New Yorkers live longer, healthier lives - and two new efforts launched last week will help us do that.
"The first was a new local law we proposed and the City Council passed that will dramatically improve the air we breathe. It will cap the amount of sulfur contained in one of the grades of heating oil most commonly used in our city. It will also require that all types of heating oil contain at least two percent biodiesel fuel - which doesn't contain any sulfur at all.
"Reducing sulfur content is important, because when sulfur is burned it releases what is called 'particulate matter' - which can trigger heart disease, asthma attacks, and other deadly respiratory conditions. Right now, the burning of heating fuel accounts for about 14 percent of all particulate matter in our air - which is more than what's produced by our power plants or by the cars and trucks on our streets. So anything we can do to reduce these pollutants will help us all breathe a little easier and live a little longer.
"This new legislation will move us a big step closer to a primary goal of our PlaNYC sustainability effort: giving New York City the best air quality of any major city in the nation by the year 2030. And in addition to making our air cleaner, this legislation will also be a money saver for New Yorkers in the long run. Because by burning cleaner fuel, your boiler will be operating more efficiently, making maintenance costs lower.
"Our second major health effort last week involves a new system of grading restaurants based on how clean they are and how safely they prepare and store the food they serve to the public.
"Over the next year, every one of the 24,000 restaurants around town will be assigned an A, B, or C letter grade, which they will need to display in a prominent spot near their entrances. If a restaurant doesn't ace its inspection the first time, it will be given another chance to bring up its grade before it must be posted publically.
"Restaurant inspections aren't something new. But up until now, the results of these inspections have only been available on the internet - which isn't so helpful when you're walking down the street looking for a place to eat. Now, these inspection results will be hard to miss, giving New Yorkers the information they need to make better-informed choices about where to eat. At the same time, we hope these letter grades will spur restaurants to improve their cleanliness and protect their customers from food-borne illness.
"From the food we eat to the air we breathe - we are doing everything we can to make New York an even healthier place to live. New Yorkers deserve nothing less.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address