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Some want Massachusetts to ban gas stoves in new home construction like New York

Some want Massachusetts to ban gas stoves in new home construction like New York
Some want Massachusetts to ban gas stoves in new home construction like New York 02:42

BOSTON -- Gourmet cooks in New York can start saying goodbye to gas stoves. The state is banning them from all new residential construction projects. There are groups in Massachusetts pushing for the same result here.

Gas stoves emit nitrogen dioxide. Health experts say those fumes can lead to respiratory diseases and create asthma issues.

"The greatest burden from air quality of gas stoves seems to be in units and buildings with poor ventilations, or households with higher risk for respiratory diseases," says Dr. Jon Levy, a professor of Environment Health at Boston University. Dr. Levy adds that these challenges are typically found in older homes, which would be exempt from the New York law.

New York's decision does encompass both heating and cooking with gas. The law goes into effect in 2026 for any new residential construction that is under seven stories. New buildings that are taller than that have until 2029 to comply.

"Buildings are one of the biggest carbon emitting sectors," said Alÿcia Bacon, New York organizer with Mothers Out Front, "This is something that our Massachusetts organizers are looking at."

Through their research, Mothers Out Front learned that utility gas leaks in Massachusetts alone cost taxpayers more than $5 million in 2020. Utilities leached out more than 5,700 megatons of methane from leaks.

"I know that they have done a lot of similar work in terms of lobbying, and recently have been able to get a meeting with the governor," Bacon said of their Massachusetts office.

As written, New York's law does not impact gas stoves that are in existing homes, and Dr. Levy believes any legislation in Massachusetts would likely do the same. 

Local realtors say gas stoves are a major preference for gourmet cooks or people who have always had one. None the less, they have seen some clients request a kitchen without a gas stove because of health issues. 

Nicole Vermillion, a real estate broker with Lamacchia Realty, believes any local changes could come on a community-to-community basis.

"I could see Brookline doing that. I could see Newton doing that. I think they are very big into making sure we are making the environment into a better place," Vermillion told WBZ-TV.

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