Smoky Coal Ban Review

The Department of Environment is to review the 'smoky coal ban' regulations. A public consultation will also take place.

Dublin saw the first ban on smoky coal in 1990 after several smoggy winters in the city, which was cause by the use of such fuel. The ban is technically known as "The ban on the marketing, sale and distribution of bituminous fuel"

The ban on smoky coal reduced smoke and sulphur dioxide levels and its success in Dublin saw it rolled out to other large urban centres. It is now enforced in 20 towns and cities in Ireland.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitor Air quality and have found that particulate matter (PM10) is lower in areas were the ban applies.

Research has shown that in Dublin the ban has resulted in over 350 fewer annual deaths, with an estimate saving of €20 million per year to the health and safety sector. It has also cause many homes to switch to non-solid fuels. Solid fuels are generally less efficient and cause more pollution. This has reduce fuel costs to households by €100 each year.

Minister Hogan said “The smoky coal ban has been effective in reducing air pollution with proven benefits for human health. This has lead to improved quality of life in cities and towns where the ban applies. It is now time to review and modernise the main provisions of the ban to ensure its continued effectiveness.”