Local Law Lowdown: Compliance Requirements & Violations

Local Law Lowdown: Compliance Requirements & Violations

By Tynesha Goode

While the passage of local laws is a common occurrence, some local laws have far greater impact than others. This article examines the most significant local laws for the construction and real estate industry, as well as the costs of non-compliance.

Top ‘Trending’ Local Laws

The following laws are currently getting the most attention. Not surprisingly, almost all of them relate to energy efficiency, with one life safety law thrown in for good measure.

Local Law 84 of 2009

Updated by Local Law 133 of 2016, the NYC Benchmarking Law requires owners of large buildings to measure and disclose their energy and water consumption every year.

Violation. Failure to submit the annual benchmarking report by May 1 will result in an initial fine of $500, with subsequent $500 fines issued after each quarter. A maximum of $2,000 (four total violations) can be issued for failure to file a single year’s report.

Local Law 87 of 2009

Closely related to LL 84/09, this law requires large buildings to perform energy audits and to retro-commission base functions, submitting an Energy Efficiency Reports (EER) every 10 years.

Violation. Failure to submit an EER is a Major (Class 2) violation, which may result in a $3,000 penalty the first year and $5,000 for each additional year until the EER is submitted to the Department of Buildings (DOB). The violation is typically labeled as an EARCX and is issued administratively.

Local 26 of 2004

This law requires installation of a full automatic sprinkler system in all office buildings 100 feet or more in height. The deadline for full compliance was July 1, 2019, although some buildings could qualify for hardship extensions.

Violation. Buildings that failed to file a final report on or before July 1, 2019, are in violation of Local Law 26, punishable pursuant to Section 26-125 of the New York Administrative Code. Any violation of Local Low 26 would subject a building owner to a fine of not more than $500, but also a penalty of not more than $5,000.

Local Law 33 of 2018

This law requires buildings subject to the NYC Benchmarking Law to publicly post their energy efficiency scores and grades in a conspicuous location near each public entrance.

Violation. Failure to display the required Building Energy Efficiency Rating label in a timely manner will result in a fine of $1,250 and may incur a Notice of Violation.

Local Law 97 of 2019

Affecting approximately 50,000 buildings in New York City, Local Law 97 of 2019 establishes greenhouse gas emissions limits for the years 2024 to 2029 and 2030 to 2034, as part of the commitment to achieve certain reduction levels by 2050.

Violation. Failure to submit a report will result in a fine of $0.50 per building square foot per month.

If you have any questions, or for assistance with compliance and/or violation dismissal, please contact Metropolis Group at 212.233.6344.