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A Pollution Concern from Heating Oils

East Village Air MapCourtesy of dirtybuildings.orgA screenshot of a Web site that details the buildings in Manhattan that use No. 4 or No. 6 heating oil. Environmentalists say that the buildings produce more air pollution than all of the city’s cars and trucks combined.

Last month’s anti-smoking legislation may have irritated some Local readers, but environmentalists say that another pollutant continues to fill the air.

An interactive map of New York City’s “dirty buildings” on the Environmental Defense Fund Web site shows over 9,000 red and yellow dots spanning Manhattan, charting real locations of the city’s sludge-burning buildings.

Buildings utilizing No. 4 and 6 heating oil produce more soot pollution than any number of cigarettes could – more than all of New York City’s cars and trucks combined, according to Isabelle Silverman, attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund, a national advocacy group.

Environmentalists say that the buildings’ output of particulate matter can aggravate asthma, increase risk for heart and lung disease, and have other consequences. In two weeks, the Department of Environmental Protection will review a rule to gradually phase out the permits of such structures; so how many of them are in the East Village?

According to the map, the East Village has about 20 buildings burning No. 4 oil and about 20 burning No. 6, which Ms. Silverman said is attributable to the East Village’s relatively smaller apartment complexes and commercial structures. But while other high-density buildings north and west of the village continue to cough up dirty matter, all of Manhattan – which still fails federal health standards – remains susceptible.
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