New York – New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Monday, March 6th, signed two pieces of legislation – one to expand the definition of a victim of domestic violence and another to improve New York City's air quality by phasing out the use of fuel oil No. 4 by 2027. As many survivors of domestic violence face housing or economic insecurity, Intro 148-A will ensure those who faced economic abuse are not discriminated against based off their economic standing. The second piece of legislation, Intro 470-A, will improve air quality across the city by phasing out the use of fuel oil No. 4, which emits high-levels of dangerous pollutants. With 72 percent of buildings that use fuel oil No. 4 located in Northern Manhattan and the Bronx, this legislation will also help deliver cleaner air and to communities impacted by poor air quality.
"Every New Yorker deserves safety in their relationships and to live a life free of domestic and gender-based violence," said Mayor Adams. "But for many New Yorkers, home is no longer safe, and too often, survivors face financial difficulties and discrimination as they move forward with their lives. Intro. 148-A expands the definition of a victim of domestic violence to include economic abuse, so survivors are further protected under the law and not unfairly victimized again based off their economic standing. Additionally, Intro 470-A will phase out fuel oil No. 4 – protecting our environment, improving air quality, and helping ensure Black and Brown communities are not unjustly impacted by this oil. Too often, people of color in low-income communities suffer the most from pollution and climate change. This bill works to address these disparities and helps improve the air quality for all New Yorkers."
"We know economic abuses like coerced debt, deception, fraud, or manipulation are common experiences for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence," said New York City Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Commissioner Cecile Noel. "We applaud Mayor Adams and the New York City Council for enacting Councilmember Justin Brannan's bill to strengthen survivor protections by recognizing economic abuse as a form of domestic and gender-based violence in the city's Human Rights Law. This legislation strengthens anti-discrimination protections for survivors experiencing financial hardships due to economic abuse and keeps them on the path to safety, healing, and stability including long-term financial stability."
"Individuals who face gender-based violence should never be denied their rights in employment or housing" said New York City Commission on Human Rights Commissioner and Chair Annabel Palma. "The New York City Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination and harassment against individuals who experience domestic violence. Today's amendment recognizes explicitly that this includes being subjected to acts or threats of economic abuse. We are proud to be part of an administration that stands with survivors and offers an array of service. This includes our continued partnership and collaboration with the Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence."
"Phasing out fuel oil No. 4 will result in critical air quality and public health improvements, resulting in fewer premature deaths, respiratory and cardiac hospitalizations, and asthma emergency room visits," said Chief Climate Officer and New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. "Vulnerable, high-poverty areas that have traditionally experienced the greatest proportion of negative health impacts from this dirty fuel, like Northern Manhattan and the Bronx, will especially benefit from this legislation."
Intro 148-A – sponsored by New York City Councilmember Justin Brannan – amends the definition of the term "victim of domestic violence" under the New York City Human Rights Law to recognize economic abuse as a form of domestic violence and extends existing protections for domestic violence victims to those who have experienced economic abuse.
Intro 470-A – sponsored by New York City Councilmember James Gennaro – would phase out fuel oil No. 4, improving air quality and public health by reducing emissions of particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide. The city expects this legislation will help prevent more premature deaths, respiratory and cardiac hospitalizations, and asthma emergency room visits, building a safer and healthier city for all New Yorkers.
"Economic abuse is domestic violence," said Councilmember Brannan. "This type of emotional and psychological terrorism occurs in almost every abusive relationship and is the number one reason victims stay in or return to toxic and often violent relationships. Financial abuse was a blind spot in the New York City Human Rights Law and we had to catch up with other cities. It is impossible to escape an abusive relationship when your tormentor is controlling your money. Today, thanks to the New York City Council and Mayor Adams, that ends. I was very proud to sponsor this legislation. This is an empowering day for survivors of domestic violence in our city."
"I thank Mayor Adams for signing this vital legislation into law," said Councilmember Gennaro. "With this bill the city will accelerate the phase out and end forever the use of Fuel Oil No 4., which is the most the polluting oil still being burned in our city. This expedited phase out will prevent the emission of thousands of tons of a host of noxious air pollutants. This law will dramatically improve the quality of air in our city -- especially around hundreds of New York City public schools -- and will increase respiratory health and save lives. I would like to thank Council Speaker Adams and all my City Council colleagues who supported this bill overwhelmingly. I also thank all the environmental advocates who worked with my office to advance this landmark clean air bill."