Turf cutters will be allowed to sell turf to family and neighbours, however the sale of turf will be banned from being advertised in local newspapers, in shops and on the internet from 31 October 2022 under new regulations agreed by cabinet on Thursday.

"People with turbary rights and all other customary practices in respect of turf will be unaffected by these draft regulations.

"They will continue to be able to cut turf for their own use and will retain the ability to gift or sell turf," the Department of the Environment said.

Primary focus

The primary focus of the draft regulations is on the large-scale, commercial sale of smoky fuels.

Under the regulations, the following new health standards for solid fuels will apply from 31 October this year:

  • Coal products and manufactured solid fuels must have a smoke emission rate of less than 10g/hour.
  • Manufactured part biomass products must have a smoke emission rate of less than 5g/hour.
  • Coal products and manufactured solid fuels, including manufactured part biomass products, must have a sulphur content of less than 2% by weight on a dry ash-free basis. Subject to a market assessment, this limit will be reduced to 1% with effect from 1 September 2025.
  • 100% biomass products, wood products and wood logs and supplies in units under 2m³, will be required to have a moisture content of 25% or less (moving to 20% with effect from 1 September 2025).
  • Wood logs sold in larger volumes will be required to come with instructions for the purchaser on how to dry this wood.
  • Commission

    Now that the regulations have been agreed by Government, they will submitted to the European Commission, the Department said.

    "This is a three-month process, following which the regulations will come into effect on 31 October.

    "During this period, the Department will be engaging extensively with industry and retailers to provide them with the guidance and information necessary to ensure that all solid fuel placed on the Irish market meets the standards required by the new regulations from 31 October," it said.