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59th Street Air Quality Permit

We’re working with New York State to help ensure that we operate our facilities in a way that preserves the safety of our communities and local air quality.

In recent decades, New York City air quality has improved dramatically as New York State, New York City, and local industries have worked diligently to lower emissions and help communities breathe a little easier.

To continue the progress made to cut air pollution, we manage our facilities with the highest standards of environmental sustainability, especially as it relates to activities that may affect local air quality, working closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to do so.

The NYSDEC is currently reviewing Con Edison’s Title V facility permit renewal application for the 59th Street station. The Clean Air Act Title V permit helps advance air quality by regulating individual sources of air emissions, such as those produced at the 59th Street station, by:

  • recording all air pollution control requirements that apply to the facility;
  • requiring the facility to report how it is tracking emissions of air pollutants and the controls it is using to limit pollution;
  • adding monitoring, testing, and record keeping requirements, where needed, to assure that the facility complies with its emission limits, or other pollution control requirements;
  • requiring the facility to certify each year that it has met its air pollution requirements outlined in the permit, and;
  • • making the terms of the permit federally enforceable.

About the Permit

Con Edison’s 59th Street station has a Title V Permit for the operation of two very large boilers, three large boilers, and one gas turbine. The facility’s boilers produce steam that Con Edison provides to approximately 1,600 customers. The station’s gas turbine generates electricity.

The boilers fire natural gas more than 95% of the time and number 4 residual oil as a backup fuel. The gas turbine also fires natural gas most of the time but uses distillate oil as a backup fuel.

In October 2018, Con Edison applied for renewal of its Title V Permit for the 59th Street steam station, which is undergoing review by NYSDEC. In January 2020, the company updated the renewal application to request that the backup fuel oil for the boilers move from number 4 fuel oil to number 2 to comply with New York City’s Local Law 43. Number 2 distillate fuel oil is a less polluting fuel oil with lower emissions than the number 4 residual fuel oil currently being used as backup fuel.

In addition to moving to a cleaner fuel oil for the boilers, we also plan to reduce emissions by installing water injection controls on the gas turbine. Water injection controls will allow the gas turbine to continue to operate in compliance with NYDEC’s 2019 rule related to nitrogen oxide emissions from combustion turbines used to generate electricity. After the water injection controls are installed, the gas turbine will be used solely to back up the steam plant and support the reliability of our electric system.

By renewing our Title V facility permit, we’ll help uphold the state’s commitment to clean air for all while continuing to produce reliable steam energy for our customers.


Please see below for the presentation provided to the public on the Title V permit.