Municipal District: 21 May 2021
Question: Can the council advise how it currently informs the public and raises awareness regarding the regulations regarding restrictions on burning of smoky coal and other prohibited fuel in the municipal district’s Low Smoke Zones?
Report: Kildare County’s Council website includes information on the relevant legislation for the smoky coal ban, eg Air Pollution Act (Marketing, Sale, Distribution and Burning of Specified Fuels) Regulations. Under current regulations the sale, marketing, distribution and burning of bituminous (smoky) coal is not permitted in specific low smoke zones (LSZs) across the country. These apply in cities and all intowns with populations in excess of 10,000 people.
The council website has links to general information about the ban, including maps of the Low Smoke Zones in which it applies, and links to general FAQ documents for householders and retailers/ suppliers. https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/26f183-environmental-policy/#air-quality
If you sell ‘smoky’ coal in a Low Smoke Zone, you are committing an offence and could be fined up to €5,000 upon conviction in court.
If you have bags of ‘smoky’ coal on display or signs advertising this coal in a Low Smoke Zone, you are committing an offence and could be fined up to €5,000 upon conviction in court.
If you distribute bags of ‘smoky’ coal in a Low Smoke Zone, you are committing an offence and could be fined up to €5,000 upon conviction in court.
It is an offence to burn smoky coal in a house in an area where the use of smoky coal for heating purposes has been banned. If there is a suspicion that that smoky coal is being burned at a private house in a Low Smoke Zone, the Local Authority may call to investigate, and may ask to see a sample of the fuel being burned.
In February 2021, the Minister / DECC launched a public consultation seeking views on the further regulation of solid fuel use for domestic home heating. This public consultation closed last month on the 02 April 2021. We would expect there will be significant national media generated following the outcome of the consultation process.
Issued by: Mr K Kavanagh, Senior Executive Officer, Water Services and Environment Department.
Discussion and outcome: The report was noted.