A Pizza Expert Slices Up the City Council's Coal-Fired Regulations

Photo: Getty Images North America

New York City pizzerias are facing the City Council’s new regulations to cut carbon emissions from coal- and wood-fired ovens; however, the restaurants are not as fired up as foodies might expect. That’s the word from Scott Weiner, owner and operator of Scott’s Pizza Tours. He appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program, where he explained that the few dozen restaurants affected by the regulations knew they were coming back in 2019, and they’re not as invasive as thought.

“This is legislation that passed years ago,” Weiner told Berman and Riedel. “They already have installed the scrubbers, so this new outrage is all for nothing, because this is something that’s already been on the books for years… They were set to start enforcing it in 2020. Covid bumped that down the road, and now they’re just trying to figure out how and if and when they will enforce it. That’s the story.”

As for how to measure the emissions, Weiner says the $10,000 cost for the sweeper is really the issue. Once installed, however, it’s not as restrictive as suggested. “Every oven has a flue, and if you’re burning a solid fuel, like wood or coal, that flue goes up the building, four feet above the roof of the building, and you go up there and you look at it and say, ‘oh, I see you’ve installed the scrubber and it’s functioning’- done, you’re good. And if they say, ‘oh, you haven’t installed this, you really need to do this’- that’s how they do it.”

Weiner added that he has talked to pizzeria owners who insist the sweeper does not affect the taste of the pizza. “Anybody who thinks it’s gonna change the pizza doesn’t understand how pizza works. This is something that gets installed on the top of the exhaust line, and it prevents particulate matter from getting in the air."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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