Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (65)

Denis Naughten


65. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the clean air strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2969/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

My Department is currently working to finalise Ireland’s first National Clean Air Strategy which I intend to publish in the coming weeks. The Strategy will provide the policy framework necessary to identify and promote the integrated measures and actions across Government that are required to reduce air pollution and promote cleaner air, while delivering on wider national objectives.

In line with the Programme for Government, the Clean Air Strategy will also support the following measures:

- establishing a regional approach to air quality and noise enforcement;

- developing a multi-agency approach to clamping down on the sale of high-sulphur content fuel imported from the UK, with Local Authorities and the Revenue Commissioners;

- investing in our network of monitoring stations, to provide scientific evidence of air quality across different parts of the country, including real-time and localised air quality information; and

- moving towards a full nationwide residential solid fuel regulation.

There are a number of national policy frameworks already in place which will also help to reduce pollutant emissions and improve air quality, such as the Climate Action Plan and the National Energy and Climate Plan. It is important that synergies are maximised between these plans and the Clean Air Strategy, with a view to achieving lasting reductions in the health and environmental impacts of air pollution in the most effective manner.