The Department of Environment, Climate and Communications has announced that the sale of turf, smoky coal and wet wood will be restricted from October 31.

The department said that these fuels are “proven to be a major contributor to air pollution in Ireland”.

Under the draft regulations published today (Thursday, July 14), the following new health standards for solid fuels will apply from October 31, this year:

  • Coal products and manufactured solid fuels must have a smoke emission rate of less than 10g/hour;
  • Manufactured part biomass products must have a smoke emission rate of less than 5g/hr;
  • Coal products and manufactured solid fuels, including manufactured part biomass products, must have a sulphur content of less than 2% by weight on a dry ash-free basis;
  • Subject to a market assessment, this limit will be reduced to 1% with effect from September 1, 2025;
  • 100% biomass products, wood products and wood logs, supplies in units under 2m³, will be required to have a moisture content of 25% or less (moving to 20% with effect from September 1, 2025).
  • Wood logs sold in larger volumes will be required to come with instructions for the purchaser on how to dry this wood.

Turbary rights of turf

People with turbary rights and all other customary practices in respect of turf will be unaffected by these draft regulations.

They will continue to be able to cut turf for their own use and will retain the ability to gift or sell turf.

However, no sale of turf may take place by way of the internet or other media (i.e. advertising in local press), or from retail premises.