The New York City Council approved a measure on Wednesday prohibiting the combustion of gas in new buildings, in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change.
Most new buildings in the nation's largest city will be prohibited from installing gas hookups for cooking and space heating in the coming years, meaning developers will have to rely on electric technology instead. The restrictions were passed by the full council after being approved by its Committee on Environmental Protection on Tuesday, with all four present members voting for it.
Under the new law, gas use in most new buildings under seven stories tall will be prohibited beginning in 2024. It will also prohibit gas use in large buildings over seven stories beginning in 2027.
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There are some exceptions to the new restrictions. New builds of seven or more stories may employ gas if developers apply for approval for construction on or before July 1, 2027. The same exception applies to buildings of less than seven stories for which documents for construction are filed on or before Dec. 31, 2023.
Other exceptions are made for any buildings that will be used by utilities for the generation of electric power or steam and those used by the city's department of environmental protection for treating sewage or food waste.
Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio has supported such a ban, and Ben Furnas, de Blasio's director of climate and sustainability, said the mayor will sign the bill “enthusiastically."
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New York joins a few other cities across the nation that have moved to place restrictions on gas use in buildings, including Eugene, Oregon; Denver; and Ithaca, New York.