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Regulations prohibiting the sale and supply of bituminous or “smoky” coal were first introduced in September 1990, in order to combat the serious smog problem that existed in Dublin at that time.

The ban had an immediate effect in significantly reducing levels of sulphur dioxide, and soon resulted in the successful elimination of smog from the capital.

The Marketing, Sale, Distribution & Burning of Specified Fuels Regulations 2012 extended the ban on the sale and supply of bituminous coal throughout all of the administrative area of Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown and across the entire County of Dublin. In addition, any bagged coal sold anywhere in Dublin City or County may now only be supplied in sealed bags labelled “Smokeless Fuel”.

From the 31st August 2012, the burning of bituminous or smoky coal within designated areas (including any such burning in a private dwelling) is also an offence under the Air Pollution Act 1987, which can result in fines of up to €5,000 being imposed following conviction in the District Court.

Under the Regulations, all coal bagging operators and solid fuel suppliers are legally required to register with the EPA and maintain relevant records in order to verify their compliance with the new reduced sulphur content levels of 0.7%.

Further detailed information for fuel merchants may be found in the following guidance document Revised Guidelines For Regulatory Compliance. 

If you are aware of any incidents involving either the burning of smoky coal or the sale and supply of bituminous coal (e.g. Polish or Texan coal) from a shop, depot or delivery vehicle within the Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown area, please report the matter to the Environmental Enforcement Section at Tel: 2047 954 or e-mail wasteenforcement@dlrcoco.ie

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