A new motion challenging proposed rules on the sale and supply of turf will ask the government to make several exemptions for people with a combination of rights to the fuel source.
The application, due to be tabled in the Dáil tomorrow by independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice, will ask the government to “work with industry” to ensure that turf sold at retail meets the same moisture content regulations currently in place for wood and peat briquettes .
The Roscommon-Galway representative and chairman of the Turf Cutters and Contractors Association claims such a move would “ensure that a proposed ban on the sale of turf would not be necessary”.
It comes as a Sinn Féin motion aimed at scrapping plans to limit sales of turf under new solid fuel regulations due to be signed in September was defeated by the government by a vote of 72 to 63 .
The new motion, seen by Farming Independent, calls on the Government to: “Exempt from proposed solid fuel rights persons with turbo rights, Q3 agreements, simple fee rights, acquired rights, community rights, licensed rights, leased rights, family rights.” or other recognized property rights.
“Exempted from the proposed solid fuel regulations, individuals who supported the state by making their turf available for conservation as part of the turf designation and who participated in the Turf Compensation Scheme, regardless of whether they submitted their turf to the State sold, in exchange for purchase turf elsewhere, elected to be state turfed, or relocated to the moor under license or turbary right.
“Excluded from the proposed solid fuel rules are people who have had land leased or made available in the past and have saved turf for their own household.
“Commit to working with industry over a reasonable period of time to ensure that peat sold through retail outlets in major urban areas meets the same moisture content regulations as currently apply to wood and peat briquettes, and hence any proposed ban of the To ensure sales turf will not be necessary.”
Although the government has confirmed that the new regulations, which are pending, will not be implemented this year, Mr Fitzmaurice has urged government backbenchers to support his motion.
“There can be no ambiguity now for the opposition or the government TDs. The last motion was also for VAT and carbon tax, this is a simple motion for turf and now it’s time to campaign for it in the Dáil.
“There is a mess out there, especially among the elderly who are afraid of not having supplies to heat their homes. It’s a shame how this issue was handled.”
A spokesman for the environment ministry said last week the regulations primarily concern air pollution and improving air quality nationwide.
“The primary focus of the regulations is on the commercial and large-scale sale of turf.
“There is growing evidence that people are selling turf into cities and built-up areas where it is a significant contributor to air pollution.
“A sensible approach is being taken to enforcement. For example, the focus will be on large-scale, commercial sales on the Internet and via shops or retail in cities.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/forestry-enviro/environment/fresh-motion-calls-on-government-to-exempt-people-with-turf-rights-from-new-regulations-41608980.html A new motion calls on the government to “exempt” people with turf rights from new regulations.