The Marketing, Sale, Distribution & Burning of Specified Fuels Regulations 2012 put a 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 "Low Smoke 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%.
On the 6th December 2017, Minister Denis Naughten announced that Ireland will be the first country in Europe to extend a nationwide ban on the marketing, sale, distribution and burning of bituminous coal nationwide. The extension of the ban nationwide will have the effect of designating the entire State a Low Smoke Zone.
It is not proposed to introduce an immediate ban on the sale and distribution of smoky coal and other prohibited fuels from Autumn 2018 but to allow a period of 12 months for the industry to 'wash through' existing stock with a full ban on the marketing, sale, distribution and burning of bituminous coal coming into effect throughout the State from Autumn 2019.
Further information can be found on the Department’s website at www.dccae.gov.ie.
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: 01 2054700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.