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December 2009

The dirtiest fossil fuel oils used in NYC buildings are #4 and #6 oils—the unrefined sludge found at the bottom of oil barrels. Although consumption of these fuels is declining, about 10,000 buildings still burn them to generate heat and hot water. Almost half of these buildings are located in Manhattan. The most severely-impacted neighborhoods are the Upper East Side and Upper West Side:

Substituting cleaner fuel in just one 200-unit building is equivalent to removing more than 45 delivery trucks from the road. Substitution can also save money, since natural gas will be cheaper than fuel oil for at least the next ten years:

By switching from dirty residual fuel to #2 oil or natural gas, building managers can substantially reduce boiler emissions and lower their maintenance and operational costs.

For more information, see "Related Resources" in the right-hand sidebar, or click here.


“1% of NYC buildings contribute more nickel- and soot-based air pollution than all the cars and trucks in the city combined.”
Environmental Defense Fund Oil Report, pp. 4

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