Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: New York City Enacts Three More Recommendations From the Green Codes Task Force


Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law


 J. Cullen Howe  By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP

On December 27, 2011, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law three bills that enacted recommendations of the New York City Green Codes Task Force.  The bills are aimed at carrying out long-term municipal plans to reduce carbon emissions, improve air and water quality, and limit waste.

The first bill (Intro. No. 576-A) seeks to improve protection of water and sewer systems by requiring construction sites to collect concrete washout water for proper disposal.

The second bill (Intro. No. 578-A) requires that new asphalt used in the city have a minimum of 30 percent recycled content.  According to the city, this requirement will save about $2.3 million per year by reducing dumping fees and avoiding costs of new asphalt and will keep more than 66,000 tons of asphalt out of landfills.

The third bill (Intro. No. 592-A), requires all new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units installed within the city to have filters that can keep out particles of 2.5 microns or more.  According to the city, the bill is aimed at keeping soot from trucks and buses from entering indoor home and work environments, where people spend an estimated 90 percent of their time.

Sustainable Green City

Reprinted with permission from Green Building Law Update Service.

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J. Cullen Howe is an environmental law specialist at Arnold & Porter LLP. Much of Cullen's work focuses on climate change, where he attempts to educate lawyers and the public at large on the enormous cooperation necessary to adequately address this problem. In addition to his work on climate change, Cullen is the managing editor of Environmental Law in New York, edits the Environmental Law Practice Guide, Brownfields Law and Practice, the Environmental Impact Review in New York, and has drafted chapters in the Environmental Law Practice Guide on climate change and green building. Mr. Howe is a graduate of Vermont Law School, where he was the managing editor of the Vermont Law Review, and a graduate of DePauw University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

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