The Guarini Center submitted comments to the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) on its proposed rules establishing penalties for noncompliance with Local Law 97, specifically Article 320 of Chapter 3 of Title 28 of the New York City Administrative Code. The proposed rules provide expansive definitions of “good faith compliance” with Local Law 97 that buildings can utilize to receive a penalty mitigation, including a decarbonization plan.
In the comments, the Center strongly urges that DOB not provide similar exceptions in future compliance periods. Recognizing that DOB will likely not remove the opportunities for building owners to submit plans at this stage, the Center provided targeted recommendations to include more guardrails in the plans, including excluding carbon offsets, further requirements for buildings undergoing electrification readiness work, and publishing a list of all out-of-compliance buildings. Finally, the Center recommended that DOB should work with the City Council to implement an emissions trading program in the City to provide both alternative compliance mechanisms and targeted local emissions reductions.