Smoke Free Zones
Smoky Coal Ban extension to Cavan Town
The government has approved the extension of the ban on the marketing, sale and distribution of bituminous fuel (or 'smoky coal ban') to 13 towns, including Cavan Town, effective from September 2020.
The ban will reduce emissions of smoke and sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere, which will improve public health and the environment.
In September 2020, a ban was placed on the marketing, sale, distribution, and burning of smoky coal and other prohibited fuels within Cavan’s Low Smoke Zone (LSZ). In addition, 'smoky' fuels bought elsewhere cannot be burned in the Low Smoke Zone. It will be an offence to burn smoky coal in a house that is in an area where the use of smoky coal for heating purposes has been banned.
The affected townlands areas which form the Low Smoke Zone that will no longer be able to sell, distribute and burn smoky coal are:
Billis (Loughtee Upper By)
Lurganboy (Loughtee Upper By)
Corlurgan (Loughtee Upper By)
Cornagleragh or Oldtown
Part of Drumalee (Loughtee Upper By)
Part of Kinnypottle
Cullies (Loughtee Upper By)
Drumalee (Loughtee Upper By)
Drumkeen (Loughtee Upper By)
Glasdrumman (Loughtee Upper By)
Townparks (ED Cavan Urban)
Killygarry (ED Cavan Rural)
Do I live in the Low Smoke Zone?
To establish if you are living in a Low Smoke Zone (check your eircode or use the search by address option) or view Cavan's Low Smoke Zone map.
The extension of the smoky coal ban to the affected Cavan areas will require co-operation with members of the public and fuel suppliers, to ensure good air quality for Cavan.
Cavan County Council is committed to actively enforcing the legislation including inspections of fuel yards, fuel vehicles, shops and garage forecourts etc. Authorised persons may undertake inspections of premises and vehicles being used for the sale and distribution of solid fuel as well as collect samples. Non-compliant operators may be prosecuted under the Air Pollution Act for breaches of the Regulations with a maximum fine amount of €5,000 on summary conviction.
It is reminded that all bagging operators supplying coal for residential use must register with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on an annual basis. All fuel suppliers whose main business is in coal must also register with the EPA. Fixed payment notices (or 'on the spot fines') are in place for alleged offences. Persons found to be marketing, selling or distributing prohibited fuels in breach of the Regulations are liable for a fixed payment notice of between €250 and €1,000 depending on the offence.
Under the Regulations all low smoke solid fuel products must be clearly labeled as “APPROVED FUEL — Contents comply with the Air Pollution Act Regulations”. This allows householders to make an informed choice concerning the products they purchase. If this statement is not on the bag then there is a real possibility that the bag does not contain smokeless coal and should not be offered for sale.
There is a range of low smoke solid fuel products available on the market the following are permitted to be marketed, sold and distributed in a ban area:
- Low Smoke Solid Fuels marked ‘SMOKELESS FUEL’ or ‘APPROVED FUEL’
- Peat - loose turf and baled briquettes
- Wood - kindling, firewood logs, compressed wood/sawdust logs, fire starter logs, etc.
The smoke and gases from the burning of smoky coal can cause severe health problems for certain people including those vulnerable to lung infections but everyone benefits in the long run from having better quality air to breathe. Low smoke solid fuel is cleaner as well as more carbon and heat-efficient and so can deliver climate benefits as well as improved air quality and human health benefits.
What can you do to improve the air quality?
- Do not burn coal that is not smokeless.
- Do not buy coal unless it is marked as being smokeless or approved fuel and in sealed bags.
- Do not buy coal outside the smoky ban areas for use withing the smoky ban areas unless it is marked as being smokeless or approved.
- You can notify your local authority regarding retailers within the smoky ban area thought to be selling smoky coal.
Complaints regarding the marketing, sale, and distribution of prohibited fuels or smoky emissions from the use of prohibited fuels in smoky coal ban specified areas should be reported to the Environment Section of Cavan County Council.
Tel: 049 437 8486
Fax: 049 433 2299