Environmentalists, Industry, Labor Join Senator Bill Perkins For A Healthy New York

July 22, 2010

Community leaders, public health and small business advocates, industry and labor joined Senator Bill Perkins to praise legislation signed by Governor Paterson that will dramatically reduce the deadly pollution that comes from burning home heating oil.
Senator Perkins’ legislation, S1145C sharply reduces the amount of sulfur allowed in home heating oil from over 2,000 parts per million to just 15 parts per million (ppm).  Sulfur contributes to air pollution that adversely affects the health of millions of New Yorkers.
“By taking action to clean up the fuel we burn to heat our homes, we are improving the health of our children and our community.  New York City and our community in particular suffer from asthma rates high above the national average, and children suffer disproportionately from the effects of air pollution.  By working together with the Assembly, the Governor, Mayor Bloomberg, community leaders and the distributors of home heating oil, we will be able to build a better, healthier future for everyone,” said Senator Bill Perkins.
New York is the largest consumer of home heating oil, which is similar to diesel fuel used by trucks and other vehicles.  But unlike on-road diesel, heating oil contains high levels of sulfur.  When it is burned it releases sulfur dioxide, a poisonous gas that can cause asthma attacks, heart disease and premature death.   Home heating oil is one of the largest sources of sulfur dioxide in the air, second only to power plants.
"This legislation was about energy efficiency, fuel diversity, increasing distillate supplies, cleaner air, and the overall improvement of the public's health.  We must recognize the primary Senate sponsor of this legislation, NYC's own Senator Bill Perkins for his unwavering support and commitment to the final passage of his bill.  He is truly a visionary leader in the field of environmental and public health legislation,” said John Maniscalco, CEO, New York Oil Heating Association.
"The Teamsters Local 553 and Joint Council 16, representing some 125,000 working men and women in New York City and its surrounding counties, is proud to stand in solidarity with environmental advocates, industry stake holders, and elected officials, in celebration of the passage of this bill. Countless individuals worked especially hard on this historic legislation and the Teamsters would particularly like to thank Senators John Sampson and Bill Perkins, Speaker Silver, and Governor Paterson for their tremendous efforts. This legislation will ensure that New York's heating oil industry is not only safe for consumers and workers alike, but that it also remains a competitive and active industry for years to come," stated Demos Demopoulos, Principal Officer of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 553 and Teamsters Joint Council 16 Secretary-Treasurer.
"Our State of the Air report revealed that more than 12 million New Yorkers across the state live in counties with failing air quality," said Scott T. Santarella, President and CEO of the American Lung Association in New York. "By requiring ultra low sulfur home heating oil, we will improve our air quality and give New Yorkers cleaner, healthier air that doesn't make them sick.  We applaud Senator Perkins for his leadership; his colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly for passing the legislation; and Governor Paterson for signing this important bill into law."
“Dirty home heating oil is a major source of air pollution. Cleaning it up will improve air quality for the millions of New Yorkers who suffer from asthma and other respiratory illnesses,” said Ross Gould, Air & Energy Program Director for Environmental Advocates of New York. "Enactment of these aggressive clean fuel requirements will help New Yorkers breathe easier."
“We have always had the technology and the means to remove sulfur from home heating oil.  What was missing was the leadership to make it happen.  Senator Bill Perkins provided that leadership, and we will all be better off for it,” said Cecil D. Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director, WE Act for Environmental Justice.
Senator Perkins’ legislation to improve public health was supported by a broad range of organizations and trade associations including the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, Empire State Petroleum Association, Inc.,  Environmental Advocates of New York, Environmental Defense Action Fund, Hudson Valley Oil Heat Council, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York City Mayor's Office, New York Oil Heating Association, Inc., New York League of Conservation Voters, Oil Heat Manufacturers of Central New York, Oil Heat Manufacturers of Eastern New York, Oil Heat Institute of Long Island, Oil Heat Manufacturers Association, Teamsters Joint Council No. 16: International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Teamsters Local Union No. 553, United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park, and WE ACT for Environmental Justice.