A ban on the burning of smoky coal and other prohibited fuels now applies in all smoky coal ban Low Smoke Zones (LSZs) to complement the ban on the marketing, sale and distribution.
The smoky coal ban includes significant reductions in respiratory problems and premature deaths from the effects of burning smoky coal. The original ban in Dublin has been cited widely as a successful policy intervention and has become something of an icon of best practice within the international clean air community. It is estimated that in the region of 8,000 lives have been saved in Dublin since the introduction of the smoky coal ban back in 1990. Further health, environmental and economic benefits (estimated at €53m per year) will be realised, if the ban is extended nationwide.
We intend to extend the health and environmental benefits of the ban on smoky coal, currently in place in our cities and large towns, to the entire country. This process involves consultation with the EU, other departments, residential fuel market operators and the general public.
We have been working with our colleagues in Northern Ireland in the Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA), under the auspices of the North South Ministerial Council, to produce a study on the effects of residential solid fuels on air quality.