Elon Musk Isn’t Happy With The Pizza Crackdown

The New York Post reported this week that some NYC pizzerias could face increased costs under proposed rules from the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) targeting wood- and coal-fired ovens.

The drafted rules would require wood and coal-fired pizzerias to reduce carbon emissions by as much as 75 percent.

Pizzerias with wood- or coal-fired ovens installed before May 2016 would be required to install expensive emission-control devices.

In a statement on Sunday, DEP spokesman Ted Timbers claimed that these ovens contribute a significant portion of the “harmful pollutants” in poor air quality neighborhoods.

Timbers explained that the rules, which were developed by the DEP with input from “restaurant and environmental justice groups,” would require a “professional review” to determine if “installing emission controls is feasible.”

One Brooklyn pizzeria owner, Paul Giannone of Paulie Gee’s, told the New York Post that in anticipation of the new rules, he has already spent $20,000 on an air filtration system.

According to Giannone, the cost of installation is only one part of the price tag. Maintaining the system is also expensive.

He told the Post that he will have to pay for someone to come in every two weeks to “hose it down” and “do the maintenance.” 

At the same time, Giannone said there was an upside to the air filtration system. He told the Post that one neighbor had been complaining for years about the smoke from the oven getting into his apartment. But since installing the system, “I haven’t seen him,” Giannone said.

Another pizzeria owner who spoke with the Post anonymously said that there were negotiations taking place with officials from the DEP on whether some pizzerias can either be grandfathered in or exempted from the proposed rules.

The unnamed owner told the Post that the rules are an “unfunded mandate” that will cost pizzerias a “fortune” while “ruining the taste of the pizza.” 

In a tweet responding to the New York Post’s report, called the new environmental rules “utter bs” that it wouldn’t “make a difference to climate change.”