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Environment Minister announces review of ban on smokey coal

The ban on smokey coal in Dublin is believed to have resulted in at least 350 fewer deaths each year. Phil Hogan has announced a public consultation on the regulations around the ban.

Image: Chris Radburn/PA

ENVIRONMENT MINISTER PHIL Hogan has announced a review and public consultation on the ban of smoky coal in parts of the country, saying it is time to “review and modernise” the ban.

The public consultation and review will look at ways to make the ban remain effective in safeguarding air quality by limiting harmful emissions of air pollutants arising from the use of fossil fuels for home heating.

The ban on smoky coal was first introduced in Dublin in 1990 in response to severe episodes of winter smog that resulted from the widespread use of smoky coal for heating homes.

The ban proved effective in reducing both smoke and sulphur dioxide levels and was subsequently extended around the country. It currently applies to twenty cities and towns across Ireland.

Research indicates that the ban in Dublin has resulted in at least 350 fewer deaths each year.

Minister Hogan said that the smokey coal ban had 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.

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Any person wishing to comment on any of the issues raised in the consultation paper on the Department of the Environment website can make a written submission by 17 May.

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Christine Bohan

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