Burning, sale and marketing of smoky coal BANNED in Longford town

Minister Ryan signs regulations to extend smoky coal ban

Longford Leader reporter


Longford Leader reporter



Burning, sale and marketing of smoky coal BANNED in Longford town

Burning, sale and marketing of smoky coal BANNED in Longford town

The burning, sale and marketing of smoky coal will be prohibited in Longford town from September 1, 2020.

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Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Eamon Ryan TD has signed regulations to give legal effect to the extension of the smoky coal ban to all towns with populations over 10,000 people. 

Longford is among thirteen towns covered by the extension of the smoky coal ban. 

According to an EPA report last September, air quality in Longford was suffering owing to an absence of a smoky coal ban

Minister Ryan said, "I am very pleased to extend this ban to a further 13 urban areas and I would like to I thank the local authorities for their cooperation."

He added, "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. 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 have been defined following extensive liaison with the relevant Local Authorities.

An interactive online map, to illustrate both the existing Low Smoke Zones and the new ones that will be in effect from  September 1, 2020, is now 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 Low Smoke Zone.

Local Authorities are primarily responsible for the enforcement of the smoky coal ban within their functional areas. The powers that Local Authorities have are extensive. For example:

1. Local Authority staff may undertake inspections of premises and vehicles being used for the sale and distribution of solid fuel as well as collect samples;

2. A Local Authority may bring a prosecution under the Air Pollution Act for breaches of the Regulations

3. A Local Authority may issue a Fixed Payment Notice (or 'on the spot fine') for alleged offences relating to the marketing, sale and distribution of prohibited fuels in Low Smoke Zones (LSZs), with a penalty range of €250 to €1000.        

As part of the Programme for Government, the Department has also committed to developing further a multi-agency enforcement approach and we will be working with the Local Authorities and other relevant stakeholders in this context over the coming months.