Local Authorities will be responsible for enforcing the provisions of the new enhanced solid fuel regulations within their functional areas and will have significant powers available to enable them do so effectively.
The Programme for Government also includes a commitment to develop a regional approach to air quality enforcement and an increase in multi-agency operations in order to clamp down on the sale of non-compliant solid fuels imported from other jurisdictions, with Local Authorities and the Revenue Commissioners involved. Given the links between burning of solid fuels and the health effects of air pollution, as well as the potential for market distortion for businesses properly adhering to the regulations, increased multi-agency enforcement and inspections of cross-border fuel movements will be required.
Discussions with the Local Authority sector have commenced with the intention of establishing dedicated resources within regional lead authorities to provide co-ordination, expertise and advice to support consistent enforcement of the new regulations across the country.
My Department is fully committed to supporting Local Authorities in this regard and has secured funding for 2022 to continue to enhance enforcement provisions, including through the provision of additional supports for the most effective model of enforcement.