The Real Deal New York

Ritz Tower, Manhattan Criminal Court burning illegal heating oil

Prominent landmarks, luxury residences among those still using banned fuel source, city says

December 23, 2014 03:40PM

The Ritz Tower at 465 Park Avenue and the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse at 100 Centre Street

The Ritz Tower at 465 Park Avenue and the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse at 100 Centre Street

High-profile Manhattan properties — including the Ritz Tower, the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse, and the headquarters of the Tribeca Film Festival — are burning illegal heating oil that emits dangerous pollutants.

According to city data, the owners of the buildings at 465 Park Avenue, 100 Centre Street, and 13-17 Laight Street have failed to switch over to cleaner fuel sources. Buildings in New York are required by law to make the conversion by the time their current permits expired, or by June 30, 2015 — whichever comes first, DNAinfo reported.

Greenwich Village building 1 Fifth Avenue, where Keith Richards purchased a $10.5 million penthouse in March, was also listed as a violator, alongside public and private schools.

The heating oil, known as No. 6, is a sludge-like substance that is left over when oil is distilled to make gasoline. The dirty oil can pollute the air and lead to health problems like asthma and heart disease, DNAinfo reported.

The Department of Environmental Protection is cranking up its efforts to get the 670 buildings still using No. 6 to make the switch. The agency is issuing only one notice-of-violation — instead of three — before sending a cease-and-desist order, Luke Surowiec, a consultant with the NYC Clean Heat program, told the website.

The St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx planned to start construction earlier this year on a $20 million project to convert from No. 6 oil. [DNAinfo] — Tess Hofmann

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