Eamon Ryan signs in extended smoky coal ban

Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport, Eamon Ryan has signed regulations to extend the smoky coal ban to all towns with a population over 10,000 people.

From September 1, 2020, the burning, sale and marketing of smoky coal will be prohibited in 13 additional areas across the country.

The additional towns are:
  • Cavan town;
  • Carrigtwohill, Cobh, Midleton and Mallow (Co. Cork);
  • Killarney (Co. Kerry);
  • Longford town;
  • Castlebar and Ballina (Co. Mayo);
  • Ashbourne (Co. Meath);
  • Tullamore (Co. Offaly);
  • Tramore (Co. Waterford);
  • Enniscorthy (Co. Wexford).

Minister Ryan said he is “pleased to extend the ban”, saying that it will “promote public health”.

“This measure will reduce air pollution and promote public health. The main health effects of air pollution include stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma,” he said.

Fine particulate matter, the pollutant of most concern from domestic solid-fuel burning, is linked to a range of diseases. Banning smoky coal saves lives and improves health outcomes.

The geographical boundaries of the new ‘low smoke zones’ (LSZ) have been defined following “extensive liaison” with local authorities, Minister Ryan added.

An interactive online map, to illustrate both the existing LSZs and the new ones that will be in effect from September 1, 2020, is available. The map includes an Eircode search facility, whereby a user can enter the Eircode of any particular premises, to see whether or not it falls within a LSZ.

Local authorities are primarily responsible for the enforcement of the smoky coal ban within their functional areas. Fines for offences relating to the marketing, sale and distribution of prohibited fuels in LSZs have a penalty ranging from €250 to €1000.