Scaremongering on solid fuel rules was "Halloween trickery"

Minister of State Pippa Hackett has claimed that misleading coverage on new Solid Fuel Regulations represented "inaccurate scaremongering" which was frightening for ordinary people.

“The primary focus of the new Solid Fuel Regulations that came into effect on Monday is on restricting the retail, online and commercial sale of smoky fuels, including smoky coal, turf and wet wood. There are no provisions in the new Regulations regarding the “excessive” burning of turf or any other solid fuel," she said.

Initial enforcement efforts will focus on working with and helping retailers in understanding and complying with their obligations under the new framework.” Minister Hackett said it was important to state “that there are no offences that would directly apply to householders within the new regulations.”

“I am disappointed by the recent scaremongering which implied that householders had something to fear from the new regulations. There is nothing to fear. The new regulations will improve people’s health chances and outcomes. These fuels, including smoky coal, turf and wet wood are proven to be a major contributor to dangerous air pollution in Ireland.”

“Yes, the Air Pollution Act 1987 enables a local authority to serve a notice to prevent or to limit air pollution – typically this relates to the uncontrolled burning of waste, including used tyres. That provision has been in place for the past 35 years. The new Solid Fuel Regulations do not change this in any way.”

“People with turbary rights, and all other customary practices in respect of turf, will be unaffected by these regulations. They will continue to be able to cut turf for their own use and will still be able to gift or sell turf.”