Air Quality & Solid Fuel Regulations
New Solid Fuel Regulations
The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, announced in September 2021 that new regulations regarding solid fuels for domestic heating will apply across the State. These regulations will now come into effect on 31 October 2022.
National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network
The Environmental Protection Agency manages the national ambient air quality monitoring network around Ireland. They measure the levels of a number of atmospheric pollutants. The pollutants of most concern are those whose main source is traffic such as Particulate Matter and Nitrogen Dioxide.
Particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5)
There are many sources of particulate matter (dust) including vehicle exhaust emissions, soil and road surfaces, construction works and industrial emissions. Particulate matter can be formed from reactions between different pollutant gases. Small particles can penetrate the lungs and cause damage. These are known as PM10 (diameter less than 10µm) and PM2.5 (diameter less than 2.5µm). There are high levels of PM10 in many cities and towns. In smokeless fuel zones, levels of particulate matter decreased after the ban on bituminous coal.
The air quality index for Longford Town is calculated on an hourly basis. The Air Quality Map shows you if air quality is good, fair, poor or very poor in your region. You can find out if air quality is likely to affect your health and what you can do to protect your health on the Air Quality Index for Health Page.
The Longford Town site is located on the Dublin Road, less than a mile from Longford town centre. Longford site measures hourly Particulate Matter 2.5 and 10 ug/m3. The most recent results can be viewed through the link below. Monitoring began at this site on the 14th May 2010.
For full information of Air Quality in your region or for further reading on Air Quality we recommend you visit the E.P.A. website on Air Quality at: www.epa.ie/environment-and-you/air
New Solid Fuel Regulations paving the way for improved air quality
The primary focus of these regulations is on improving air quality and improving people’s health chances and outcomes, by restricting the retail, online and commercial sale of smoky fuels, including smoky coal, turf and wet wood. These fuels are proven to be a major contributor to air pollution in Ireland.
The main health effects of air pollution include stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma. These conditions can lead to sickness and ill health, as well as premature mortality.
Burning of solid fuels, is a significant contributor to poor local air quality by increasing the amount of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) and other pollutants in our homes and communities. It is also linked to increases in respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, dementia and also impacts on the central nervous and reproductive systems.
The changes, which were announced in September 2021, will remove the most polluting fuels from the market from the 31st of October.
Alternative, low-smoke fuels are cleaner and more cost-efficient. The net effect of these changes is that these new rules will now be operational across the country, resulting in significantly cleaner air for everyone. While this will represent a change to those who have used smoky fuels up to now, a wide variety of less harmful products – such as low-smoke coal (ovoids) – are available which are cleaner and more cost-efficient.
Another significant effect is that access to turf through retail outlets and the internet will no longer be possible, while wood that is bought for domestic heating will be drier and cleaner to burn as a consequence.
People with turbary rights and all other customary practices in respect of turf will be unaffected by these 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.
Further information and frequently asked questions are available below :
FAQ Couriers Haulage Companies
FAQ Local Authorities
Department Press Release New Solid Fuel Regulations