LETTERKENNY is to be included under revised regulations of the Smoky Coal Ban it was announced by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government on Monday, July 9.
The ban will be extended, with effect from May 1, 2013, to Letterkenny and five other new provincial towns whose populations have now increased to over 15,000 people (as per Census 2011).
Minister Phil Hogan TD said the regulations are to be revised in time for the next winter fuel season will be the most extensive revision and update to the smoky coal ban since its introduction in Dublin in 1990.
The lead-in period for the new towns will allow local authorities and fuel retailers time to familiarise themselves with the new regulatory requirements in preparation for the switch-over to smokeless fuels next May.
Minister Hogan said: “Research has indicated that the smoky coal ban resulted in up to 350 fewer deaths and reduced consumer fuel costs of €184 million per year.
“It has clearly been effective in reducing air pollution with proven benefits for human health and environment and has led to improved quality of life in cities and towns where the ban applies.
“I believe that it’s now time to take steps to ensure that those proven benefits are preserved and safeguarded, and are extended more widely by updating the main provisions of the ban to reflect the more recent expansion of many of our urban areas and to ensure its continued effectiveness in mitigating harmful emissions caused by the burning of smoky coal.”