Reminder: Local Law 97 Emissions Adjustment Applications Due June 30, 2021

The city is already preparing for Local Law 97 enforcement in a few years, starting with applications for adjustments at properties with excessive emissions levels. You can read more in the Service Notice, or follow along for the breakdown here:

What is this application for?

The DOB is accepting applications to adjust emission limits for the initial Local Law 97 enforcement period (2024 – 2029) at buildings with special circumstances. Applications must be submitted by the end of the month (June 30, 2021).

If emissions for a covered building exceed their limit (the amount specified for the 2024 – 2030 period) by more than 40% (as reported in 2018 filings), the DOB may grant an adjustment to the property’s annual emissions limit for this upcoming period. The adjustment will be 70% of the “calendar year 2018 building emissions for the covered building.” All three special circumstances outlined in the law must be met in order for the adjustment to be granted.

The DOB also provides a detailed breakdown of the adjustments process here, on their website.

What are special circumstances, exactly?

“Special circumstances” are defined by the following, per § 28-320.8 of the administrative code:

  1. The owner of the covered building demonstrates that the building emissions in excess of the building emissions limit is attributable to special circumstances related to the use of the building, including but not limited to 24 hour operations, operations critical to human health and safety, high density occupancy, energy intensive communications technologies or operations, and energy-intensive industrial processes;
  2. The owner of the covered building demonstrates that the energy performance of the covered building is equivalent to a building in compliance with the New York city energy conservation code in effect on January 1, 2015; and
  3. The owner of the covered building has submitted a plan to the department setting forth a schedule of alterations to the covered building or changes to the operations and management of the covered building sufficient to ensure that the covered building will be in compliance with the annual building emissions limits for calendar years 2030 through 2034, as required by section 28-320.3.2.

What happens if an adjustment is granted?

If an adjustment is granted, it is effective through reporting years 2025 – 2030 (the first stage of LL 97 enforcement), “provided that the certificate of occupancy has not been amended after December 31, 2018.”

What are the emissions limits for my covered building?

Annual building emissions limits for covered buildings can be calculated here based on the law. 

You can also view a chart of emission limits here on the DOB’s website. This application and process specifically refers to the first chart (2024 – 2029), and not the second stage (2030 – 2034) with different calculations and reduced limits.

How can I submit an application?

Applications can be submitted via DOB NOW: Safety. Per the Department, “Assistance with a building emissions application is available via the Building Emissions Unit by submitting an inquiry at www.nyc.gov/dobhelp and selecting the Sustainability module.”

Registered Design Professionals and Building Owners can reference the LL97 Adjustments Filing Guide, linked here. The EN97A Calculations Workbook and Instructions are also available online. For questions regarding the content of the application (not DOB NOW), reach out to GHGEmissions@buildings.nyc.gov.

There is a $2,450 filing fee for these applications.

What about medical buildings?

Not-for-profit hospitals and healthcare facilities can submit applications no later than July 21, 2021. The filing fee for these applications is $335.

Per the DOB, “Not-for-profit classification includes spaces owned or occupied by a not-for-profit hospital or healthcare facility.” Additionally, applications for these facilities may also be granted for the 2030-2034 period, unlike other property types.

Where can I get more help with Local Law 97?

SiteCompli is hosting a webinar on July 15, 2021 with Steven Winter Associates – the expert team for sustainability planning, consulting, and more. They’ll be walking us through practical tips on kicking off your Local Law 97 planning, and avoiding steep penalties from excessive emissions. Click here to get more details and save your spot ASAP – space is limited!

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About the Author

Kristen Hariton

Kristen Hariton is the Senior Product Marketing Strategist at SiteCompli. A member of the SiteCompli team since March 2013, Kristen has learned more about compliance and property operations than she ever thought possible. When she's not sharing the latest industry trends, changes, and updates, she's planning her next adventure to Walt Disney World.