The cost of a $20 million Chimney Sweeping Program has been reduced to $18,000.
The city’s Department of Public Works and Sustainability announced the reduction Monday, a reduction of almost 50 percent from the original $20.5 million budget.
“We are proud to have the opportunity to invest in these programs to keep New Yorkers safe and keep the public safe,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“We’re also committed to doing better, so our $20 Million Chimney Cleanup Program will be able to be implemented with less money.”
The program was conceived in 2011 and focused on the removal of asbestos from a city-owned property near New York’s Times Square, a neighborhood plagued by the deadly asbestos-related fire.
In 2016, the city lost $2.8 million on the program, according to the city Department of Environmental Protection.
The cleanup program was intended to be a citywide effort.
But the city, along with some neighbors and city lawmakers, say that the program was too costly and was not effective enough to make the city safe.
New York has spent about $20 billion on the cleanup of its air quality since the early 2000s.