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NYC Properties Estimated to Face Massive Local Law 97 Fines Starting Next Year

The clock is ticking before New York City’s Local Law 97 takes effect for property owners next year, and many owners are set to face hefty fines. Many large and mid-sized NYC building owners will have to report their emissions to comply with the law starting in 2024, and more than 3,700 properties are expected to be in non-compliance. That’s according to a study commissioned by the Real Estate Board of New York by engineering consultant Level Infrastructure.

New York City property owners could face penalties of $268 for each ton of emissions above the limit. The study revealed that buildings that aren’t meeting the strict limits will face up to $213 million annually in penalties next year. The study also estimated that by 2030, 13,500 buildings will be non-compliant and total fines will come to $900 million annually. The Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY) VP of Policy Zachary Steinberg said the report should be a “wakeup call that Local Law 97 is not designed to secure the emissions reductions we need.”

NYC’s Department of Buildings released much-anticipated details on the regulations late last year, and more details are expected in the coming months. About 60 percent of the properties expected to exceed emissions limits in 2024 are multifamily buildings. REBNY says that if every building reduces energy consumption by 15 percent, 11,400 properties will remain non-compliant by 2030. Steinberg also said they hope the city will act over the next year to avoid economic damage and unfair penalties. With so much money in fines on the line, there may be some very public clashes between the real estate industry and New York officials over details of Local Law 97 this year.

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