4 August 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton, has confirmed that the smoky coal ban will come into effect in Carrigtwohill, Cobh, Midleton and Mallow from Tuesday, 1 September 2020, making each town a Low Smoke Zone.
The ban will be introduced in Cobh, Midleton and Mallow as part of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment’s extension of the ban to all towns with populations over 10,000 people. Carrigtwohill will also become a Low Smoke Zone from September as the existing Cork specified area is being extended to include the town.
“I have no doubt that the extension of the smoky coal ban to Carrigtwohill, Cobh, Midleton and Mallow will have lasting benefits to local residents as air quality improves. Air pollution can cause a range of chronic and acute respiratory diseases and the designation of these four towns as Low Smoke Zones will ensure a ban on the marketing, sale and distribution of smoky coal and other prohibited fuels from September. The ban will also guarantee that prohibited fuels bought elsewhere cannot be burned within the Low Smoke Zone”, said David Stanton.
“Cork County Council will be primarily responsible for the enforcement of the ban through inspections of premises and vehicles used for the sale and distribution of solid fuel and by collecting samples. The Council may issue fines of between €250-€1,000 for alleged offences relating to the marketing, sale and distribution of prohibited fuels or bring prosecutions under the Air Pollution Act 1987 for breaches of the regulations.
“The Department had originally outlined that the ban would only be extended to Cobh, Midleton and Mallow in Cork East given their population, but the existing Cork specified area has now been widened to include Carrigtwohill. A multi-agency approach to enforcement of the ban continues to be developed with the geographical boundaries of the new Low Smoke Zones defined in consultation with Cork County Council.
“An interactive smoky coal ban area map is available online at https://dcenr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=feee728a0ee1427d9a3973a090a9f292 should Cork East residents wish to check if their premises lies within one of the designated Low Smoke Zones”, concluded David Stanton.