The Minister for Communications, Climate Change and the Environment, Richard Bruton, has announced that the current ban on bituminous coal will not be extended nationwide for the 2019/20 heating season.
The ban on the marketing, sale and distribution of bituminous coal (or smoky coal) was first introduced in Dublin in 1990, and subsequently extended to other major cities. Following a public consultation process it was further extended in 2012, now applying to 26 urban areas nationwide. It had been announced by previous Ministers that the ban would be extended to the entire territory of the State. However a number of coal firms since indicated that they would legally challenge this decision.
Minister Bruton went on to say that the Department is now working to finalise a legally robust plan which will improve air quality by reducing particulate matter in the air. “However, pending the completion of this work I am aware of the need to provide clarity now to the public and to the trade to enable them to adequately plan for purchases of stock for the 2019/20 heating season.”, said the Minister.
Minister Bruton’s statement can be read in full here.