Each year, some 1,300 people die prematurely in Ireland due to air pollution from solid fuel burning. It is estimated that there are over 16,200 life years lost, while many people also experience a poor quality of life due to the associated short, and long-term health impacts of this form of pollution. I remain committed to addressing this critical public health and environmental challenge through a nationwide ban on smoky coal and enhanced regulation of other solid fuels.
The recent public consultation, which sought views on how we regulate all solid fuels that contribute to air pollution, was the first step in this process. My Department received more than 3,500 responses to the technical consultation, survey and questionnaire. A summary of the consultation along with the technical submissions are available on the Public Consultation webpage of Gov.ie.
Regulations, informed by the consultation process, are currently being drafted, and it is my intention to publish a new, legally robust, and evidence-based framework for how we regulate all solid fuels in the near future.