Council urged to ban smoky coal in County Wexford
Wexford County Council is being urged to ban the use of smoky fuels within the next six months.
Cllr Malcolm Byrne, who is putting forward a motion calling for such a ban, said the burning of such fuels had seriously damaging effects on people's health and on the environment.
The councillor also wants the council to express concerns at the delays by Minister Denis Naughten in proceeding with the ban nationally.
Earlier this year, harmful levels of emissions from the burning of smoky coal were detected by monitoring stations in Wexford town, where such coal is already banned, and in New Ross, where it is not, as is the case in Gorey and New Ross.
Particulate matter, a type of pollution caused by domestic burning of smoky coal, penetrates the lungs and sinus, aggravating asthma and other respiratory conditions. There is no safe level of exposure to the pollution caused by smoky coal and with more than 14,268 thousand people in County Wexford suffering from asthma, the Asthma Society of Ireland is calling for an immediate ban on this nasty pollutant. However, smoky coal is cheaper to buy that the smokeless variety, leading to some people living in Wexford town heading out of town to buy the fuel.
One of the major problems is that even in areas where it is banned, there is little if any policing of the measure.