The sale of smoky fuels including turf, wet wood and smoky coal have been banned from Monday onwards under new solid fuel regulations.

The regulation, which had been agreed by THE Government in July, will require many users of smoky fuels to make the switch to “cleaner and more cost-efficient” low-smoke options.

Any householders who bought smoky products before Monday can use up these supplies, as long as this burning does not create a "significant" level of air pollution or cause nuisance to neighbours.

The Department of the Environment has stated that the regulatory change will not affect those cutting turf to supply their own household, their families' or their friends' households.

“Another significant effect is that access to turf through retail outlets and the internet will no longer be possible, while wood that is bought for domestic heating will be drier and cleaner to burn as a consequence,” the Department of the Environment said.

The focus of the regulations is to improve air quality and reduce any negative impacts on health that result from heightened air particulate levels.

Turbary rights

“People with turbary rights and all other customary practices in respect of turf will be unaffected by these regulations,” the Department stated.

This means that those cutting turf for their own use, or buying from friends or family, can continue to do so, while those who buy turf from a retail premises cannot.

“They will continue to be able to cut turf for their own use and will retain the ability to gift or sell turf. However, no sale of turf may take place by way of the internet or other media (that is, advertising in local press), or from retail premises.

“If you previously sourced turf via any of these channels, you will no longer be able to do so. If you currently source turf from family, friends or neighbours outside of these channels, this can continue," the Department of the Environment said.