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Report: City’s Highest Air Pollution Levels Found On Upper West Side

Emissions From Heavy Heating Oils To Blame, Report Says
Air Pollution In New York

A study says air pollution may be more dangerous even than thought. (Credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Upper West Side may be wealthy and fashionable, but its air remains the most polluted in the whole city, according to a published report.

The city government program NYC Clean Heat released the study, according to a DNAInfo report.

The cause of the pollution is the combustion of heavy heating oils, which sends particulate matter such as sulfur and nickel into the air and causes more pollution than cars or trucks, according to the publication. The size of the buildings on the Upper West Side has resulted in the high levels of heating fuel pollution, NYC Clean Heat told the publication.

In 2011, a total of 700 Upper West Side buildings were found to be burning heavy heating oils No. 4 and No. 6, which are known to contain high levels of toxins, the publication reported. A total of about 10,000 buildings burn the fuels citywide, the publication reported.

This year, about 160 of the buildings have converted to safer fuels, but the others are still sending 54 tons of particulate matter into the air, the publication reported.

As of last year, the most significant emitter, No. 6 oil, had been banned by the city and permits for burning it will not be renewed or granted once current permits run out in 2015, the publication reported.

The Upper East Side and Midtown also saw high levels of emissions, according to the publication.

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