This guy is full of hot air.
Via NY Post: The de Blasio administration is trying to limit the number of food trucks in the city by claiming that each hot-dog and kabob cart causes more pollution than a truck ride to Los Angeles.
Deputy Health Commissioner Corinne Schiff made the claim at a City Council hearing Wednesday, in an apparent effort to sink a bill that would nearly double the number of food-vendor permits in the city by 2023.
“Meat grilling is a significant source of air pollution in the city,” Schiff said. “One additional vendor grilling meat emits an amount of particle pollution in one day equivalent to what a diesel truck emits driving 3,500 miles.”
The new bill would boost the number of permits to 8,000 by 2023 and also create an enforcement team to sniff out violations.
Since 1983, the number of street-food vending permits has remained steady at 4,235. But there are likely more carts than that on the streets, as some vendors simply open shop without a license and work until they are caught.
Schiff argued any increase in the number of food carts needs to come with regulations stipulating that the carts operate in a more environmentally friendly manner.
City Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan), who is sponsoring the bill to increase the permits, wondered if this was already the case. “We have laws in the city about air quality that currently stipulate that any food establishment has got to have a hood over a grill,” Levine said. “Is that not currently the law?”
Schiff, however, said there are no such laws regulating the carts as she suggested the proposals be delayed to ensure better pollution safeguards.
“We really see this as an opportunity to work with the council to think through how we might use this modernization act to improve air quality,” she said. “The current laws don’t actually control the emissions that we’re concerned about.”
Business-improvement districts and residents throughout the city also pushed for delays on increasing vendor permits, saying there are too many already in some neighborhoods, but welcomed increased enforcement.
“The enforcement idea is a great idea,” said Ellen Baer, co-chair of the NYC BID Association. “Let’s see if this works, let’s see how it works, let’s see if it’s sufficiently funded, let’s see how many resources they need — before we start adding to the chaos.”
But street vendors argued they’ve waited too long for reforms that would allow them to transition from operating illegally to legally.
Sean Basinski, director of the Street Vendor Project, described the bills as “far from our dream,” but said he supports most of what they call for. “It is a reasonable compromise,” he said. “Vendors have been waiting 35 years for this change . . . We certainly welcome a study being done, but we don’t think that should delay the progress that needs to be made. The time for reform is now.”
Before the hearing, some vendors rallied outside, demanding that city officials and police stop harassing them and treating them like criminals. The bill will remain before the committee while members discuss possible changes.
h/t Weasel Zippers