NEW YORK CITY—The Bloomberg administration and the City Council have reached an agreement on a bill intended to reduce the legal limit of sulfur used in heating oil. The measure, which the council is expected to pass later this week, is intended to complement the administration’s PlaNYC sustainability initiative, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says in a statement. It will be the first local law to come out of the city’s efforts to decrease environmental pollutants from heating oil and improve air quality.

Known as Intro 194-A, the bill will cap the sulfur content of number 4 heating oil at 1,500 parts per million, half the current legal limit, while requiring that all heating oil used citywide after Oct. 1, 2012 contain at least 2% biodiesel fuel. Although number 4 oil is consumed in only about 4,000 of the city’s 975,000 buildings, they’re generally larger structures, while the oil itself is “among the dirtiest used in the city,” says Adam Freed, acting director of the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, in a release.

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