New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio celebrated Earth Day on Tuesday by proposing more regulations — including a ban on new wood-burning fireplaces.
The mayor made the proposal, along with those for other sweeping regulations that he said would update emission standards and help curb air pollution.
Instead of wood-burning fireplaces, de Blasio wants to allow only cleaner-burning units, such as those that use natural gas.
Residents who already have wood-burning fireplaces would be allowed to keep them, but would be required to use only firewood that has 20 percent moisture or less, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.
Officials said that drier wood burns more cleanly and releases fewer toxins into the air.
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene estimates that emissions from the toxins contributed to a 12 percent boost in premature deaths annually from 2005 to 2007.