The Potential Impact of NYC’s New Green Regulation on Iconic Pizza Parlors

More than 100 renowned pizza establishments in New York City are at risk of shutting down following the approval of a new initiative designed to slash carbon emissions by 75% from stoves fueled by wood and coal. Scheduled to be enforced starting April 27, this regulation has led some businesses to invest upwards of $600,000 in smoke-reducing systems in preparation for the forthcoming requirement.

The regulation specifically focuses on eateries equipped with cooking stoves installed prior to May 2016, mandating affected pizza shop proprietors to install filters and retain an engineer for regular inspections of carbon emissions.

Paul Giannone, owner of a pizzeria in Brooklyn widely known as Paulie Gee, expressed his disappointment to Fox News, stating, “This regulation is a significant blow to the existence of beloved wood-fired pizza joints in New York City. It’s a regrettable development in my view.”

Mayor Eric Adams’ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) stands by the initiative, highlighting its potential to enhance the health of New Yorkers and decrease hospital visits and associated costs.

According to Edward Timbers, a spokesperson for the DEP, stated to The New York Post, “Every resident of New York deserves access to clean air, and stoves fueled by wood and coal are significant sources of harmful pollutants, particularly in areas with already compromised air quality.”

City Councilman Justin Brannan, who chairs the Finance Committee, suggests offering tax breaks to approximately 130 impacted businesses. He underscores the significance of supporting these establishments in meeting the regulation’s requirements rather than imposing immediate penalties. Brannan’s proposal is pending review by the DEP on behalf of the mayor.

Certain businesses utilizing wood and anthracite stoves have the option to request a variance but must substantiate their inability to adhere to the regulation.

Initially reported by The Post last summer, the initial draft of the regulation raised concerns among pizza enthusiasts and business owners, who worried about its potential effects on cherished establishments and the flavor of their preferred slices.

Critics among New York’s pizza aficionados voiced disapproval of the ordinance, with one commentator urging authorities to prioritize addressing larger sources of pollution such as diesel trucks instead of singling out pizza ovens.

Worries also emerge regarding the economic burden on these renowned pizza establishments, which could result in closures or higher prices for what is already considered the most expensive pizza in the nation.

With the April 27 deadline looming, the future of these iconic pizza establishments remains uncertain, igniting discussions about striking a balance between environmental objectives and safeguarding beloved local enterprises.