Government looking to impose ban on smoky coal and "wet wood" 2 weeks ago

Government looking to impose ban on smoky coal and "wet wood"

It's understood briquettes, smokeless coal, and dry wood will still be allowed.

The Government is looking at a ban on the sale of smoky coal and restrictions on the type of wood sold for burning as part of new regulations on solid fuels.

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There had originally been plans for a nationwide ban on smoky coal to be in place by 2019 and the changes have been in the pipeline since 2015, when they were announced by then Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly.

On Thursday, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan launched a public consultation to seek views on the further regulation of solid fuel use for domestic home heating and is seeking input from the public, experts, health professionals, NGOs and others to give their views.

The European Environment Agency report, Air Quality in Europe 2021 indicates that in 2018, there were 1,300 premature mortalities linked to pollution from fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Ireland.

These tiny particles known as PM2.5 come from solid fuel burning in heating homes, as well as road traffic.

The sale of smoky coal in Ireland is currently banned in cities and towns in Ireland with a population of over 10,000 people but it would be banned nationwide under new plans, which are hoped to be introduced during the lifetime of this government.

Other solid fuel sales such as unseasoned or "wet wood", as well as sod turf could be banned.

However, it is understood that people will still be allowed to cut their own turf or get it through other traditional arrangements, but the sale of turf in retail would stop.

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Meanwhile other forms of solid fuel such briquettes, smokeless coal, and dry wood could still be sold as they meet the regulations under the Air Pollution Act.