Written answers

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Environmental Investigations

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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179. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the additional measures that will be introduced to prevent the supply of a product in this State (details supplied) in view of the widespread concerns of merchants regarding the availability of this product; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62676/21]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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The Air Pollution Act (Marketing, Sale, Distribution and Burning of Specified Fuels) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 326 of 2012), only make it an offence to place on the market, sell or distribute any ‘specified fuel’ within a Low Smoke Zone (LSZ), and to burn specified fuel in a private dwelling or public house within a LSZ. It should be noted that new Regulations to provide for improved emissions standards are being introduced for a range of solid fuels to ensure that the most polluting will no longer be available for sale on the Irish market. Introducing these standards will improve the quality of the air that we breathe, and the health of the public that we serve.

It is important to note that in the interim, the importation of bituminous (smoky) coal from other jurisdictions is not currently illegal, provided that the coal is sold, marketed, distributed, and burned outside of designated LSZs only.

Local Authorities remain responsible for taking appropriate enforcement action in instances where such coal is found within LSZs, while the Revenue Commissioners are responsible for ensuring compliance with carbon tax and VAT requirements.


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