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Iconic NYC pizzeria fired up over emissions rule, warns 'it's going to be tough' staying open

Pizzeria shops are getting slapped with "a big expense" that's "going to be tough" to survive as New York City requires new carbon emission regulations on their ovens.

One of the oldest coal-fire pizzerias in America is serving a cautionary tale as more than 100 other pizza shops in New York City prepare for new green energy regulations.

"This is a well-intentioned law, but it misses the mark when it comes to coal pizza, coal-fired ovens," John's of Bleecker Street general manager Kevin Jackson told FOX Business’ Kelly O’Grady on "Varney & Co." Tuesday.

"It's going to be tough. $150,000 is a lot of money," he continued. "I feel for the places that have to do it now, because that was $150,000 three years ago. I don't even know what it would cost now."

Starting April 27, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will enforce the rule which applies to restaurants with cook stoves installed before May 2016. The mandate, originally proposed in June, requires affected pizzeria owners to install a filter, then hire an engineer to regularly inspect the carbon emissions.


Those emissions must reportedly be reduced by at least 75%.

Anticipating the rule’s implementation, Jackson noted the pizzeria took action with the proper time and budget – but the nearly 130 pizzerias that didn’t, may face closures.

"Don't forget, you can't just put a scrubber on the top of the flue," Jackson detailed about the ovens’ chimney systems. "Our flue wasn't the right width, so we had to change our whole two, six-story flues."

"That involves punching through a brick wall, which, a 100-year-old building, I can assure you, it needs engineers and all kinds of different construction people just to punch through the wall. So it's a big expense," he expanded.

Jackson also vouched for fellow pizza shops that use the highest grade of coal called anthracite, which is largely smoke and particulate-free.

"All restaurants that have coal ovens use a coal called anthracite coal. It is a high carbon type of coal, almost particular freight," the general manager explained. "It's smoke-free and almost particulate-free. So it wasn't a pollutant really before we did it, but we were forced to put it in the filtration system anyway."

Brooklyn pizzeria owner Paul Giannone, known as Paulie Gee, told Fox News on Tuesday that this marks "a sad day" in his opinion.


"I think putting this regulation in place for everyone, regardless if it’s having an impact on neighbors or not, is overkill," Giannone said.

"Listen, I suffer from asthma. No one is more interested in having clean air and, in particular, for you, than I am," Jackson additionally pointed out. "However, it's the cost of doing business in New York City, as we found out."


FOX News’ Megan Myers contributed to this report.

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