Ban on ‘smoky’ coal set for Letterkenny

A ban on the use of ‘smoky’ coal in Letterkenny may have moved a step closer following the end of a consultation process initiated by the Department of the Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency.

A ban on the use of ‘smoky’ coal in Letterkenny may have moved a step closer following the end of a consultation process initiated by the Department of the Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The ban already exists in high density populations areas such as Dublin and Cork and in seventeen towns around the country which boast populations of over 15,000.

Letterkenny is one of four towns - alongside Newbridge, Mullingar and Cavan - which fall into this bracket but do not have a ban in place.

Members of the local Town Council met on Tuesday evening to discuss Government documents relating to the consultation process and circulated to the Local Authority.

Tomorrow, Friday, Town Engineer John McCarron will attend a special briefing in Portlaoise organised by the E.P.A. on the process which ended this week. “I hope to know more and what it means for Letterkenny after this conference,” he told the ‘Democrat’ yesterday.

The documentation points out that it would “seem appropriate” that all towns within Zone C, including Letterkenny, should fall within the ban.

“The ban on bituminous smoky coal has had a positive effect on omitting particulate matter emissions from home heating and should be extended to all urban areas,” the Council was informed.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan entered into the consultation process with stakeholders and the general public to inform and assist a review of ‘smoky’ coal ban regulations in an effort to safeguard and improve air quality.

Research has suggested the Dublin ban resulted in some 350 fewer deaths each year due to the cleaner air.