The Governments of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have agreed to commission a joint North-South study on all-island air quality. In particular, the study will examine the issue of residential burning of smoky coal.
The Study will look at the island-wide effects on air quality of smoky coal burning and is expected to finish in late 2013 or early 2014.
“Burning smoky coal at home can have significant negative impacts on local air quality and as a consequence on our health. We need to understand better the scale and nature of the problem so that we can consider effective ways to tackle it,” saysNorthern IrelandEnvironment Minister Alex Attwood. “The pollution is most noticeable in urban or built up areas, particularly in winter, and has in the past led to the Department of the Environment issuing High Air Pollution Alerts to warn those whose health is most at risk.”
While certain measures are already in place in both jurisdictions which seek to address solid fuel emissions, the two Governments have agree that there is potential for more to be done.