Engineering Criteria for Fossil Fuel Burning Boilers & Water Heaters

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:1)

Comment By: 
Friday, December 20, 2013
Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 


Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule


Section 1403(c) of the New York City Charter and Section 24-105 of the City Administrative Code authorize the commissioner to regulate and control the emission of harmful air pollutants into the open air.


Sections 24-109, 24-122, and 24-125 of the Administrative Code respectively authorize the commissioner

1)    To regulate and control emission sources other than those located in one or two family dwellings and motor vehicles by requiring a registration to be filed with the department; and

2)    Set forth general requirements for applications for work permits, certificates of operation, and renewal of certificates of operation; and provide standards for granting work permits.


Chapter 2 of title 15 provides performance standards and other engineering criteria for oil-burning boilers. The rules have not been revised since their original promulgation in 1970. Since then, technological advances in boiler design and fuels have rendered many of the current rules obsolete. Since the proposed changes to the existing rules are so extensive, the existing rules are being deleted entirety and replaced with new rules.


The new rules include the following important changes and additions: 

·       Provisions are added that address natural gas boilers.

·      References to fuel oil grades #4 and #6 are removed, as relating to the use of such fuels in new boilers, as the installation of new boilers using those fuels is no longer permitted.

·       The current combustion efficiency requirements for carbon dioxide have been deleted, as modern combustion efficiency analyzers now measure oxygen instead.

·       The combustion efficiency requirement for oil-fired boilers is increased from 80 per cent to 83 per cent, and is established at 80 per cent for natural gas-fired boilers.

·        A requirement has been added for annual boiler tune-ups and combustion efficiency tests conducted by a qualified combustion tester using a calibrated combustion analyzer. The test results must be submitted with the application to renew the certificate of operation.

·       The equipment approval process has been changed to allow professional engineers to certify equipment that is not on DEP’s Accepted Equipment list, provided the equipment meets required criteria. Additionally, equipment that is listed by Underwriters’ Laboratory, the Canadian Standards Association, or ETL is also acceptable.  Unlisted or custom equipment will require certification by a professional engineer.

·       Provisions that address condensing boilers are added.

·       Provisions to allow for variances are added.

·       Specific design requirements, such as heat release, combustion chamber, furnace volume, and oil handling, are deleted.

·       Chimney radial distances have been updated for new chimneys to conform to the requirements set forth in the Mechanical Code and Fuel Gas Code. 


Public Hearing

Engineering Criteria for Fossil Fuel Burning Boilers & Water Heaters

Public Hearing Date: 
Friday, December 20, 2013 - 10:00am

Alyssa Preston

DEP-8th Floor Conference Room
59-17 Junction Boulevard 8th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373