NYC to implement large building emissions limits

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New York Construction Report staff writer

The NYC Dept. of Buildings recently released the Local Law 97 Advisory Board report with recommendations on implementing Local Law 97, which adds GHG emission limits for most buildings larger than 25,000 sq. ft. starting in 2024.

The report

Even stricter standards would take effect in 2030 under the law.

The work of the board was supported by seven Climate Working Groups, staffed with volunteer subject-matter experts focused on multifamily housing, economic impact, commercial buildings, hospitals, carbon accounting, communications and the energy grid.

Property owners who require help meeting their emission targets can reach out to NYC Accelerator – a program of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice – which is available to provide free one-on-one assistance.

“This report will help inform the path forward to effective, clear enforcement of Local Law 97 and a cleaner future for New Yorkers,” said Kizzy Charles-Guzman, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice. “Strong partnerships like this are crucial to an equitable transition that focuses on improving the sustainability of our buildings and the environmental quality of our neighborhoods.”

The finalized guidelines for Local Law 97 come after three years of uncertainty among property owners over how to comply with the law’s ambitious targets, which begin in 2024 for about 20 percent of buildings. Rules are meant to help determine each individual building’s yearly emissions allowance and energy use.

By 2030, the regulations become much more stringent, with an expected 40 percent drop in buildings’ emissions citywide.

In October, the city agency released a draft version of the rules, immediately sparking criticism from environmentalists, who said the proposals risked weakening the intent behind the law, and real estate developers, who argue the rule is not specific enough.

Rules remain substantially unchanged from the original draft. The agency said it will be publishing more rules in the new year to address many of the concerns brought up during the public comment period and to further clarify what efficiency standards buildings will need to meet by 2024.

Officials call the report “carefully-considered” and say recommendations will help to put “meat on the bones of Local Law 97”, the world’s most-important city-level climate and jobs law.

“This is the culmination of an extraordinary process of professional review and consultation led by the Adams Administration’s dedicated staff, which will help create tens of thousands of jobs to cut pollution,” said Advisory Board member Pete Sikora.

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