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Environment, Climate Change & Agriculture


Air Quality

Clean air is essential for our quality of life.  While recent decades have seen significant improvements in air quality in Ireland, air pollution continues to cause damage to both our health and environment. The EPA’s annual ‘Air Quality in Ireland’ reports consistently state that Ireland’s air quality is generally good, but that some localised areas of concern remain. These arise mainly from residential and transport emissions.

In addition, the European Environment Agency states that air pollution is linked to approx. 1,400 premature deaths in Ireland each year. This is up to ten times the number of people who die on our roads. These deaths arise from health conditions which are linked to air pollution, such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases.

A range of air quality legislation is therefore in place in Ireland to protect our air quality and safeguard the health of all.

Air Quality Legislation & Enforcement

Mayo County Council has monitoring and enforcement responsibilities and powers under a range of Air Quality legislation, including:

Air Emission Licences 

Mayo County Council issue Air Emission Licences for activities listed under Schedule 3 of the Air Pollution Act, 1987.  

Air Emission Licence Appeals

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for processing Air Pollution Act licence appeals. For further information in relation to these appeals, and the appropriate fee payable, please refer to Air Pollution Appeals section on the EPA website at the following link

National Air Quality Monitoring Programme 

The Environmental Protection Agency manages the National Ambient Air Quality Network. Air quality monitoring assessments are made at the following locations in Co. Mayo. 

Air Quality Monitoring in Castlebar, Co. Mayo 

Air Quality Monitoring in Claremorris, Co. Mayo 

Air Quality Monitoring in Ballina, Co. Mayo

Air Quality Monitoring in Achill, Co. Mayo

Solid Fuels Regulations

The current Solid Fuels Regulations took effect from 31 October 2022, and apply equally across the State.

The primary focus of these regulations is on improving air quality and improving people’s health outcomes, by restricting the retail, online and commercial sale of smoky fuels, including smoky coal, turf and wet wood. These fuels are proven to be a major contributor to air pollution in Ireland.

The thresholds which now apply are:

  • Coal products and manufactured solid fuels must have a smoke emission rate of less than 10 grams per hour. This is the same as was previously in force in Low Smoke Zones.
  • Manufactured part biomass products must have a smoke emission rate of less than 5 grams per 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, and subject to a market assessment, from 1 September 2025 this will be reduced to 1%.
  • Fuel products which are 100% biomass products (including wood products and wood logs), supplied in units of two cubic metres or less, must have a moisture content of less than 25% (from 1 September 2025, this will be reduced to less than 20%).
  • Wood logs supplied in units of two cubic metres or more must now be accompanied by a notice outlining the need to store and season wet wood until it is sufficiently dried.
  • It is now not possible to sell turf via retail, online or other media, in public houses or other public places.

The Regulations also place certain obligations on producers, importers, and retailers of solid fuels.

The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications has produced and regularly updates dedicated FAQs for the following sectors:

  • Householders
  • Producers and importers of firewood
  • Producers and importers of other solid fuels
  • Retailers
  • Couriers & haulage companies
  • Media companies

These may be found at - Watch the 'Let's Clear The Air' video

Mayo County Council would encourage all those using solid fuel to heat their homes to consider using certified smokeless products to improve air quality in the county for the benefit of human health. For more information watch this short video about thinking A B C.

Deco Paints (Vehicle Refinishers) 

The Limitation of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds due to the Use of Organic Solvents in Certain Paints, Varnishes and Vehicle Refinishing Products Regulations (referred to as the Deco Paints Regulations) were introduced in May 2007. 

It is an offence to operate a vehicle refinishing installation without a current Certificate of Compliance, which is issued by your Local Authority, following a report from an Approved Assessor. 

The Environmental Enforcement Team carry out inspections in relation to these regulations and can issue fines or initiate prosecutions on those not compliant. 

Further information is available here.  

Click here to view a short video from the EPA website.

Solvent Regulations (Dry Cleaners)

The Solvent Regulations were update in 2012. This legislation requires Irish business, which use solvents or solvent containing materials as part of their operation, to obtain a Certificate of Compliance from their Local Authority. 

The Environmental Enforcement Team carry out inspections in relation to these regulations and can issue fines or initiate prosecutions on those not compliant. 

Further information is available here

Petroleum Vapour Emissions Regulations

More information can be found here:

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