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We moved into our new place in the E60s last fall, and over the past few months we've noticed a chimney on a neighboring building belching black smoke several times a day. If the wind is blowing north, it heads straight for our windows (and with newborn twins, we're getting a little nuts about it). We're on the 10th floor, and what looks like a make-shift chimney is bolted onto the rear exterior of a 6 story tenement along 1st Ave. We can't tell from our vantage or at street level where exactly it is attached.
My question is what is the appropriate agency we can call to have this investigated? Any black smoke like this is obviously toxic, but we have no idea if it is heating oil, exhaust from a restaurant or an incinerator. We would like to find out if what the building is doing is legal. A complaint to 311 was, as you would expect, a useless waste of time.
I have nearly the same problem.
Have a neighbor who's about 1 floor lower with a very sooty stack, does not have the turbine on the end and every night in the winter between 8 and 10 pm (prime fireplace time) I get very heavy smoke smell. Once or twice visible smoke in the apartment with windows closed.
I've ascertained it's coming in through the small fresh air intake for my HVAC and I generally tried to make sure my HVAC fan kicked on very little if at all in that time window last winter.
I've made due out of some laziness on my part but also because I dont know quite what to do other than when I have time before next winter to seal all air intake.
You don't need children to be nuts about it.
I am curious what are the regulations for stacks and the authority in charge to police them. I assume the fire department. It has to be them or DOB.
For your problem to be ongoing in June, I'd have to say it's from cooking.
You might try calling your city council rep's office, or your state assembly/senate rep's office. They may not take this up as their own cause, but the staff will probably be able to give you some advice about who to contact. Another resource is the community board manager.
FDNY typically has some fire safety-related jurisdiction over this sort of thing, but where it gets constructed (or not) would ultimately be a DOB issue, and the emissions from ongoing operations might actually be a DEP item -- they issue boiler operation certificates, for example.
But who regulates actual chimney stacks, making sure they are clean, etc.
Shouldnt every stack have a turbine diffuser or made to have one?
Call 311 or go to their website. You can lodge a complain there.
I think that's DOB/FDNY jurisdiction; sounds like something's wrong with boiler/chimney breaching or dirty oil or maybe it's #6 oil.
But, if it were me, I'd have my attorney send a letter to the violating building & tell 'em to repair/fix immediately & if they fail to do so, file complaint w/ DOB/FDNY &/or sue.
No one should have that stuff blowing into their apt.
Also, take photos when it occurs. Good to have evidence.
Sourcat, we already filed a complaint through 311, months ago. That was in my original post.
After doing some recon this past weekend, we guessed at which building the chimney is attached to and just asked the owner of the street level restaurant if he knew anything about it. He was very nice and just as alarmed as we are (bringing vulnerable, cute little babies with us didn't hurt). They gave us the super's number, but he has not returned any of our messages. However, within 48 hours of our visit, the black smoke is gone. The chimney still belches many times a day, but it's clear to whitish now. We see the wavy heat lines, but not the ominous black cloud. I still plan to pursue whether the chimney itself is legal because the structure looks so makeshift.