Written answers

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Turf Cutting

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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159. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if persons (details supplied) can continue to cut and sell turf after September 2022; and, if not, the deadline in this regard. [18340/22]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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New regulations on solid fuels are due to take effect from 1 September next. They are required, as each year, some 1,300 people die prematurely in Ireland due to air pollution from solid fuel burning. It is estimated that there are over 16,200 life years lost, while many people also experience a poor quality of life due to the associated short-term and long-term health impacts of this form of pollution. The National Peatlands Strategy acknowled`ges the tradition of burning peat in Ireland, but also recognises that the associated emissions to the air contain a range of pollutants. Research undertaken by the Environmental Protection Agency also demonstrates that the contribution of peat to air pollution levels is significant.

Turf cutting by citizens for use in their own homes is a traditional activity across many peatlands, and while measures are required to reduce the emissions associated with burning peat, these traditions will be respected.

Therefore, in order to accommodate those with rights to harvest sod peat, no ban on its cutting or burning will be introduced, but a regulatory provision will be made to prohibit the placing on the market, sale or distribution of sod peat. This approach will facilitate those with turbary rights to continue to cut and burn sod peat for their own domestic purposes, while also reducing the use of sod peat in urban areas.

As such, persons who have turbary rights will continue to be permitted to extract peat to heat their own dwelling, but will not be permitted to place it on the market for sale or distribution to others.


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