Ban on Smoky Coal

Ban on Smoky Coal

The situation with regard to the sale and supply of bituminous or smoky fuels in Sligo has changed with the recent introduction of the Air Pollution (Marketing, Sale, Distribution and Burning of Specified Fuels) Regulations 2012.

The most significant change for current fuel suppliers is that the ‘specified area’ where smoky fuels may not be sold, marketed or distributed has been significantly extended to include more townlands outside of Sligo Town.

Map of Specified Areas for Bituminous Fuel Ban (PDF) - 8,470 kbs  PDF

The new Regulations also deal with the actual burning of the fuel by the end user. Under the previous Regulations the use of smoky fuel was not an offence, however this has been changed and it is now an offence under the new Regulations to use smoky fuels within the specified area. 

To ensure that all premises and suppliers are compliant with the new Regulations, ongoing inspections will be carried out.  Sligo County Council may bring a prosecution under section 11 of the Air Pollution Act 1987 for breaches of the Regulations, with the maximum fine, if found guilty, being €5,000.  Fixed payment notices (or ‘On the Spot fines’) were also introduced for alleged offences relating to the marketing, sale and distribution of prohibited fuels in specified areas.  Persons found to be marketing, selling or distributing prohibited fuels in breach of the Regulations are now liable for a fixed payment notice of up to €1,000.

These Regulations have contributed to a significant improvement in air quality, and the consequent health benefits, in and around Sligo Town since their introduction.  If you are aware of any premises or suppliers who may be in breach of the Regulations or would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Environment Section of Sligo County Council on 071 9111454 or email

For further information on this topic please visit - 

Smoky Coal Ban ( -
Residential Solid Fuel and Air Pollution Study - Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment -