The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, has responded to Tipperary County Council in respect of the new regulations on the sale, distribution and burning of solid fuels, including turf (sod peat).
The motion forwarded to the Minister expressed concern about the ability of people to heat their homes if burning turf was banned.
Minister Ryan defended the new regulations as being essential to improve air quality and to prevent premature deaths in Ireland due to air pollution estimated to impact 1,300 people annually in Ireland.
He also pointed out that a person can cut turf for their own needs and says measures are still required to reduce the use of wet wood, sod peat and bituminous coal, particularly in more urban areas where the greatest harm to health can be caused.
Minister Ryan expressed confidence that the new solid fuel regulations would ensure that better quality, more efficient fuels will be available on the market such as low smoke ovoids which he described as a suitable cost-efficient alternative in terms of heat delivered per cent cost.