Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan says a reasonable solution has been found on the issue of turf-cutting and its distribution.
She said: “The revised regulations will protect traditional turf-cutting practices and allow those who have traditionally cut, shared and sold turf to continue to do so. This is so important to many communities in County Roscommon.
“I do recognise the effect of poor air quality on people’s health and wellbeing, and I welcome the role these regulations will play in helping to improve air quality and public health. However, we must make sure there is a Just Transition for people in the West of Ireland, especially with long wait times for alternatives such as the SEAI Warmer Homes Scheme, which will insulate homes.
“Older people have used turf for generations and perhaps cannot do the work themselves now to get turf home, so this is a way to ensure people can buy turf for times ahead. And there is also a natural phasing out of the use of turf as a fuel in new homes.
“The revised regulations allow those with turbary rights and all ‘customary rights’ to cut, burn, share and sell turf, as long as it’s not sold in a retail setting, public place, through media, or online. There is no ban on burning turf by anyone in the country”.
“I’m glad we could come to this agreement with our Government partners. We’re confident this solution will protect and extend the current smoky coal ban, while allowing for traditional practices to continue” Senator Dolan concluded.