Written answers

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Turf Cutting

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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63. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if clarification will be provided regarding proposed regulations (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21464/22]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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I remain committed to introducing new regulations on the sale of solid fuels for domestic heating in Ireland this Autumn. They will introduce minimum standards that will apply across all solid fuels, to ensure that the most polluting can no longer be made available on the Irish market and to assist the public in transitioning to less polluting alternatives. New measures are required to improve air quality and protect public health. It is estimated that each year, some 1,300 people die prematurely in Ireland due to air pollution from solid fuel burning and that there are over 16,200 life years lost. In addition, 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 regulations are a critical element of addressing this public health and environmental challenge and will serve to improve the quality of the air that we breathe, and the health of the public that we serve.

The primary focus of these regulations is on the large-scale commercial sale of turf. I recognise that turf cutting by citizens for use in their own homes is a traditional activity across many peatland areas and the intention is to preserve customary practices in this regard. Final regulations will be agreed by Government in due course reflecting the ongoing consultation as to their exact content. We will ensure that while measures are introduced to enhance the quality of our air, they will not impinge upon traditional local practices associated with sod peat.


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