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Lawn sales ban for targeted trade in cities and metropolitan areas

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A proposed ban on the sale of peat will specifically target trade in the product in cities and built-up areas, according to the Environment Ministry.

It comes amid ongoing political wrangling over Environment Secretary and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan’s plans to regulate the sale of peat through new solid fuel rules from September.

While the regulations are still in the works, a spokesman for the Environment Department said the threatened ban is now expected to largely target sales of turf in urban settings.

Before a motion by Sinn Féin against the plans in the Dáil, the spokesman said: “The main focus of these 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.

“Mowing lawns by citizens for use in their own homes is a traditional activity in many peatlands. Measures are needed to reduce the emissions associated with peat burning, while respecting these traditions.

“No ban on peat burning will be introduced for those who have the right to harvest sod peat, but action is needed to reduce its use in more urban areas where the greatest harm can be done.

“This approach aims to make it easier for those with turbary rights to continue cutting and burning sod peat for their own domestic purposes, while reducing the use of sod peat in urban areas.

“These regulations have not yet been approved and are still being processed. Possible changes are being agreed by the Government to be included in the final regulations in the coming weeks, which will ensure that while measures to improve air quality are put in place, these do not disrupt traditional small local practices related to sod peat.

“However, there is growing evidence that turf is traded on a larger scale than previously thought in urban areas, where its impact on air quality is felt by many more people.”

moisture content

In response, independent TD and chairman of the Turf Cutters and Contractors Association, Michael Fitzmaurice, insisted that the introduction of new regulations should be postponed until a “just transition” is achieved for all people currently dependent on turf to to heat their home. The Roscommon-Galway representative also said that the “moisture content” of turf needs to be studied.

“Now is not the time to hammer in new regulations. You can’t make a point next September, you need a transition, you can’t just drop the hatchet and say, “Good luck, bye, bye.”

“The government has to specify what an ‘urban area’ is, if sales are increasing it’s no wonder as a liter of heating oil now costs three times as much.

“The government needs to work with industry, as it has done with wood or peat briquettes, to keep the moisture content of turf for sale in urban areas as low as possible so that it is not banned and complies with solid fuel regulations. “

https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/rural-life/turf-sale-ban-to-target-trade-in-towns-and-built-up-areas-41588351.html Lawn sales ban for targeted trade in cities and metropolitan areas

Fry Electronics Team

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