Clean Air

The 2009 New York City Community Air Study revealed that the Upper East Side has a particularly high level of sulfur dioxide, which is pollution caused from No. 6 heating oil that is burned in large residences and institutions.

CIVITAS is an advocate for cleaner air on the Upper East Side and in East Harlem and has been an active resource for building managers and residents wishing to convert to more efficient and environmentally friendly heating oil options:

Photos: (Left) Vials containing sludgy, polluting heating oil No.6 and cleaner heating oil; (Right) Upper East Side building burning No. 6, courtesy of Isabelle Silverman, EDF

Outreach and Events:

CIVITAS has sponsored panel discussions to educate the community on environmentally-friendly building methods and heating oil conversion:

– The Greening of Apartment Buildings, October 22, 2009

– Clearing the Air on the Upper East Side, July 21, 2010

– Heating Oil Conversion Workshop, December 6, 2011

– Heating Oil Conversion Workshop, March 6, 2012

– Air Quality and Heating Oil Workshop, June 4, 2012

– NYC Clean Heat CIVITAS Presentation, April 22, 2013

– Original Energy: Converting Your Buildings to Cleaner Burning Fuels, April 22, 2013

News and Updates:

In April 2011 the City of New York issued a moratorium on No. 6 fuel oil starting in 2015. As a result, the City has adopted the Clean Heat Program to assist buildings in converting to natural gas and/or No. 2 oil. Boiler permits will no longer be renewed for #6 oil. Incentive programs may be available through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to reduce carbon emissions through heating oil conversion.  Read the Press Release and Application.

In August 2010 City Council passed a local law (Intro-194A) to reduce sulfur content in heating oil.  Read Intro 194-A and the July 26 city council press release.



Environmental Defense Fund – Step-by-Step Guide to heating oil conversion

NYC Clean Heat Program – Skip No. 4

Con Edison incentives for multi-family residence conversion to natural gas

Our Town East Side article from April 20, 2011

32BJ 1,000 Green Supers Training Program








Read more in the Fall 2010 issue of CIVITAS News: “Cleaning the Air on the Upper East Side: No.6 Heating Oil Pollutes East Side Air”