Government not proposing turf burning ban
A Minister has insisted the Government did not vote down a Sinn Féin Dáil motion calling for the scraping of the ban on the sale of turf.
The motion was defeated by eight votes on Wednesday night, following assurances to rural Coalition TDs, Minister Eamon Ryan's plan to ban the sale of turf would not go ahead.
Seán Fleming, Minister of State in the Department of Finance, said, the motion that no ban on the burning of peat was being proposed, and was passed by the Dáil.
He added: "The motion was voted through by Government TDs, while all Opposition TDs voted against the proposal."
Minister Fleming did not back a Sinn Féin demand for a scrapping of the ban on the sale of turf.
He said: "The Government put forward its own detailed proposals which included the following two paragraphs:
“'Turf cutting by citizens for use in their own homes is a traditional activity across many peatlands, but measures are required to reduce the emissions associated with burning peat, while respecting these traditions, and no ban on the burning of peat is being proposed, but a regulatory provision will be made to prohibit the sale of sod peat in larger agglomerations while allowing the traditional sale in rural areas; and
"'Final regulations will be agreed by the Government in the coming weeks which will ensure that, while measures are introduced to enhance air quality, they will not impinge upon traditional local practices associated with sod peat, including localised rural trading and the sharing of turf with family members and neighbours, and this approach will facilitate rural communities to continue to cut and burn sod peat for their own domestic purposes, while also reducing the use of sod peat in urban areas.'”
Minister Fleming said this Government amendment was carried by a majority of TDs and the revised motion which included the Government’s amendment was also passed by a majority of TDs.
"No regulations have been agreed and a key element will be to deal with the sale of sods of turf in retail outlets, shops and other commercial premises. From my own experience, I see very little of this happening in any event," he said.
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