heatingNew solid-fuel standards for Ireland
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan TD has announced new standards for all domestic solid fuels.
He marked International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies by revealing the new measures that will roll out across the state within a year.
The most polluting of fuels will no longer be available on the Irish market from that point on.
New solid-fuel standards
Making the announcement, the minister said:
“When this government was formed, we gave a commitment to tackle air pollution caused by domestic solid fuel burning. We remain committed to doing so.”
“We took a major step earlier this year, with a public consultation on the development of new solid fuels regulations for Ireland.”
The government received more than 3,500 responses across all strands of the consultation.
“Having considered the submissions made by the public, health experts, advocacy groups, academia and industry, a framework for legislation has been developed and drafting of the regulations is underway.”
From 2022, the following new standards for solid fuels will apply in Ireland:
- Coal, coal-based products, any manufactured solid fuel or peat briquettes will have to have a smoke emission rate of less than 10g/hour, reducing to 5g/hr by 2025;
- It is not proposed to make any changes to the smoke emission rate for biomass products (that contain coal). This is already set at 5g/hr;
- The sulphur content permitted for all fuels will be reduced from 2% to 1% over time.
- Wood sold in single units under 2m³ will be required to have a moisture content of 25% or less (moving to 20% within 4 years). Wet wood sold over these volumes will be required to come with instructions for the purchaser on how to dry this wood;
- To accommodate those with rights to harvest sod peat, no ban on its burning will be introduced. However, a regulatory regime to reduce its harm in more urbanised areas is under examination.
The minister confirmed that the government will finalise regulations in the coming months and will be in place for the 2022 heating season.
He said the measures allow those servicing the domestic solid fuel market to “plan accordingly and continue investing in less polluting alternatives”.
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