Local Law 97 Takes Effect in New York City

January 18, 2024
Stephen D. Daly, Esq. and Giselle F. Davidian, Esq.
MGKF Special Alert - 2024 New York Forecast

New York City’s Local Law 97 (LL97) compliance begins in 2024. LL97 is part of New York City’s climate legislation passed in 2019, which is comprised of a collection of laws aimed at mitigating the effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings. LL97 sets a series of deadlines for buildings over 25,000 square feet to reduce emissions by certain amounts to 40 percent by 2030 with an ultimate goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.  LL97 is enforced by the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB).

While most buildings have reportedly already met emissions guidelines for 2024, an estimated 10 percent of properties are struggling to decrease their emissions. Owners of these properties who show “good faith efforts” to reduce emissions can submit a decarbonization plan for bringing their building into compliance by 2026 – giving them an extra two years to comply. Businesses may also purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) to offset excess emissions and fund alternative energy projects, starting in 2026.

In Glen Oaks v. City of NY, Index No. 154327/2022 (Sup. Ct., NY Cnty.), plaintiffs sued the City of New York, the DOB, and the Commissioner of the DOB alleging that LL97 (i) is unconstitutional as it constitutes an unauthorized tax, (ii) is preempted by the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019 (CLCPA), and (iii) violates due process given its “excessive penalties” against property owners.  On October 30, 2023, the New York Supreme Court dismissed the action by Court Order.  The decision confirms that LL97 is valid, enforceable, and constitutional.