The State Legislature must regulate the quality of home heating oil as a matter of grave health concern.

As citizens concerned about our environment, we urge the State Senate and the State Assembly  to pass their respective bills S. 1145-A and A8642, which will  protect public health and greatly reduce air pollution by  requiring No. 2 heating oil, the most widely used, to meet the  same refining standards the federal government currently mandates  for diesel oil used in vehicles. If the oil we use in our vehicles  must satisfy safety standards, then the oil that we use in our  heating systems in our homes must, at a minimum, follow suit. The federal government will  not address this pollution menace, due to the regional nature of  home heating oil use. It therefore behooves the State Senate to  pass this vitally important piece of legislation, which curbs  greenhouse gas emissions. Most home heating oil is  extremely high in sulfur and releases dangerous pollution into the  air, including ozone and fine particles called PM 2.5. Much of  downstate New York, including New York City, exceeds federal  standards for PM 2.5 and for ozone. These particles are linked to  serious health and respiratory conditions, such as irritation of  the airways, coughing, difficulty in breathing, decreased lung  function, aggravated asthma, development of chronic bronchitis and  irregular heartbeat. They also shorten life expectancy. New York State is the  largest consumer of home heating oil, and this initiative will  make our state the national leader in eliminating one of the  causes of global warming and improving the health of those  suffering from respiratory and other conditions. The sulfur  reduction that will result from the passage of this law is  equivalent to shutting down two and a half coal plants in New York  State. We simply cannot fail to  act on our community's health, and studies assure us that the cost  of this strategy is minimal. The costs of No. 2 heating oil and  on-road, ultra-low sulfur diesel oil, are often within 3-5 percent  of each other. The State Legislature must  pass this important law expeditiously, as a matter of urgent  health necessity. UNITED COMMUNITIES  ALLIANCE
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