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Online Permitting Additional Testing Options and Updated Emission Control Regulations Part of Air Quality Improvement Effort

Deleting Outdated Rules Makes Compliance Easier for Property Owners and Businesses

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection recently announced a number of new initiatives and updated rules and regulations aimed at improving air quality and making compliance easier for property owners and businesses. This includes an updated one-stop online system for information and required registration of certain equipment, additional compliance testing options for portable generators, new emissions control requirements for wood or coal burning stoves in food establishments, and equipping enforcement staff with wireless tablets to quickly upload inspection reports. This builds upon the City’s successful effort to phase out the use of Number 6 heating oil, the dirtiest and most polluting oil. As of December 31, 2015, all 5,300 buildings that were using Number 6 oil had switched to a cleaner burning fuel, which modeling shows will prevent 210 premature deaths and 540 hospitalizations each year.

Air Quality Program changes include:

Updates to Clean Air Tracking System

  • The Clean Air Tracking System, or CATS, is a one-stop shop for property owners and businesses that must register large boilers, dry cleaning services, generators and other industrial equipment. In order to make the registration process as simple as possible for businesses, and with recent updates to the City’s Air Pollution Control Code, CATS has been updated so that all filings can now be done online.

Additional smoke testing methods for portable generators

  • Certain requirements, including a smoke test, must be completed by a professional engineer or registered architect before a work permit will be issued for a portable generator with an output of 40KW or greater. Prior to this change, only one type of test would satisfy this requirement. To make permitting easier, the new rule allows additional testing methods for the smoke test.


  • The number of enforcement staff will be increased by eight, bringing the total to 22.
  • Enforcement staff have been using wireless tablets to quickly file and upload inspection reports.
  • DEP will continue to enlist the assistance of partner enforcement agencies when it finds substantial violations of the rules during the course of an audit or inspection, and will act swiftly to suspend and revoke the licenses of inspectors who may endanger public health.

Wood or coal burning stoves/ovens in food service establishments

  • Any newly installed wood or coal burning stove/oven in a food service establishment must include emissions control features. Existing stove/ovens must install emission control features by January 1, 2020.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $20.7 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.