Smoky fuel ban could extend to peat briquettes - Eamon Ryan

The Minister for the Environment said the proposed ban would include peat briquettes if the products had more than a ten micrograms per hour emission rate
Smoky fuel ban could extend to peat briquettes - Eamon Ryan

Muireann Duffy

Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan has said peat briquettes may be included in the Government's proposed ban on smoky fuels if they are found to be over the excess pollution threshold.

As reported by the Irish Examiner, the Green Party leader made the comments in the Dáil on Thursday, clarifying that turf may not be the only product to be impacted by the ban, which is expected to be in force next September.

The ban aims to reduce the use of smoky fuels, such as turf and smoky coal, due to the high emissions they produce and their impact on people's health.

However, following widespread criticism, including from its own backbench TDs, the Government agreed to allow turf to be used and sold on a local basis, recognising arrangements such as turbary rights in many rural areas.

On the health implications of smoky fuels, Mr Ryan said: "We don't want to go through another winter, particularly if it is a cold winter, where people are dying unnecessarily."

He added they will be looking to ensure peat briquettes fall below the 10 micrograms of pollution per hour rate, with the products being included in the ban if they fail to do so.

Bord na Móna previously said its briquettes will comply with this threshold, and a spokesperson for Mr Ryan clarified after the Dáil debate that the Government does not expect briquettes to be banned from September.

Mr Ryan said the matter has been brought to the EU for consultation, where the draft regulations will be examined.

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