The government has today (Thursday) confirmed that it has agreed on draft regulations on solid fuels in Ireland.
Its says the primary focus of the draft regulations is on the large-scale, commercial sale of smoky fuels, including smoky coal, turf, and wet wood.
Under the regulations, a number of new health standards for solid fuels will apply from October 31st, 2022.
Firstly, the government has outlined that the draft regulations will not impact people with turbary rights and all other customary practices in respect of turf.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department of the Environment, Climate and communications said:
“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.”
That’s Farming previously covered this in a news article last week.
Solid Fuels Regulations
- Manufactured part biomass products must have a smoke emission rate of less than 5g/hr;
- Coal products and manufactured solid fuels, including manufactured part biomass products, must have a sulphur content of less than 2% by weight on a dry ash-free basis. Subject to a market assessment, this limit will be reduced to 1% with effect from September 1st, 2025;
- Coal products and manufactured solid fuels must have a smoke emission rate of less than 10g/hour;
- 100% biomass products, wood products and wood logs, supplies in units under 2m³, will be required to have a moisture content of 25% or less (moving to 20% with effect from September 1st, 2025). Wood logs sold in larger volumes will be required to come with instructions for the purchaser on how to dry this wood.
Solid fuel types
|Coal Products||Any coal, lignite, coke or semi coke of coal falling under CN Code 2701, 2702 or 2704.||Any traditional “house” coal products. These are typically smoky coals and for the most part will not be available for sale. For example, typical premium and standard coal would no longer be available for sale.|
|Manufactured Solid Fuels||Means any solid fuel manufactured or mixed with a biomass fraction of less than 30%.||Fuels which are typically coal-based but may have a small percentage of biomass included in their manufacture. Peat briquettes, low-smoke fuels and some long-burning fire logs could also come under this category.|
Manufactured Part Biomass Products
|Any solid fuel product produced using biomass and any other materials where the biomass content is greater than 30% but less than 100%.||Fuels which are typically coal-based but have a larger percentage of biomass included in their manufacture. Examples could include low-smoke ovoid products. These products will always include information on the bag which states the percentage of biomass used in the product.|
|100% Biomass Products||Solid fuels made from the biodegradable fraction of products, waste and residues of biological origin from agriculture (including vegetal and animal substances), forestry and related industries, including fisheries and aquaculture as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal waste.||This would include coffee logs, or other novel products made from 100% biomass, including any materials used for ignition or binding purposes.|
|Wood Products||A product composed or manufactured from wood or its components including sawdust, shavings or chips for the purpose of being used as a solid fuel.||For example, wood pellets or wood-based fire logs where less than 5% other biomass materials are used for ignition or binding purposes.|
|Wood Logs||Parts of a tree or timber cut or sawn into logs for the purpose of or capable of being used as solid fuel.||Wood logs typically sold in bags or by trailer to be used to heat the home.|
|Firelighters||Any product used for the ignition phase of combustion.||These are not|
The department explained that the regulation of solid fuel is a “recognised means of addressing” deaths arising from fine particulate matter, primarily associated with domestic solid fuel burning.
Poor air quality, it says, is a leading cause of premature deaths.
The spokesperson added: “Now that regulations have been agreed by government, they will submitted to the European Commission under the Technical Standards Directive (2015/1535) notification procedure.”