We love pizza. We really do. Especially the slices that come from old-fashioned, coal- and wood-burning ovens with their slightly blackened crusts and high-quality ingredients. But if the City Council passes a new law requiring old-fashioned pizzerias to get filters for their ovens, all our favorite restaurants may soon face a major financial hurdle.
Today, the Brooklyn Paper reported that Queens Councilman Donovan Richards recently introduced a De Blasio- supported bill that will require all eateries using wood- and coal-burning ovens to buy and install a $10,000 air filter on their ovens. The measure is meant to curb air pollution by removing at least some of the toxins emitted by the old-school ovens. If the bill is passed, restaurants using new and old solid fuel ovens will be required to install the filters by 2020.
It should be noted that solid fuel ovens aren’t cheap (they start at about $35K) and adding another $10K to that cost might deter some prospective business owners from opening new pizzerias. Even the company that makes the filters, Wood Stone, told the Paper that emissions from these types of ovens are relatively minimal.
In all, though, this seemingly minor regulation of pizzerias is only a small part of a wholesale change to air pollution laws in the city, which will also target commercial char broilers, outdoor boilers, mobile food trucks and fireplaces. In other words, the entire food industry should start saving up for a major overhaul.
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