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Cosc ar Ghual Deatúil | Smoky Coal Ban

*English Below*


Comhaontas Glas na nDéise ag lorg cosc ar ghual deatúil i nDún Garbhán.

Tá iarrtha ag Comhaontas Glas na nDéise ar an Roinn Cumarsáide, Gníomhaithe ar son na hAeráide agus Comhshaoil cosc ar ghual deatúil a chur i bhfeidhm i mbaile Dún Garbhán. Scríobh Críostóir Ó Faoláin, ball de Chomhaontas Glas na nDéise, chuig an Aire Bruton ag iarraidh go gcuirfí i bhfeidhm an cosc ar ghual deatúil agus go ndéanfaí monatóireacht ar chaighdeán an aeir sa bhaile.


Tháinig an ceist seo aníos le linn an fheachtais toghchánaíochta níos tuisce i mbliana. Bhuaileamar le daoine amuigh ag rith fad is a bhíomar ag canbhasáil do Marc Ó Cathasaigh agus dúradh linn go raibh siad in ann an deatach a mhothú sna scamhóga. Dúirt bean le asma linn nach féidir léi dul amach ón teach nuair atá sé fuair de dheasca an deataigh, agus dúirt máithreacha linn go mbíonn drogall orthu a bpáistí a thabhairt ar siúlóid.

Faigheann thart ar 1,500 duine sa bhliain bás roimh am de dheasca truailliú aeir in Éirinn, gan trácht ar an bpaindéim. Faigheann níos mó daoine bás de dheasca drochchaighdeán aeir in Éirinn ná líon na ndaoine a fhaigheann bás ar na mbóithre, ach tá neamhaird tugtha ag an rialtas don gceist. Tá sé feicthe againn leis an bpaindéim Covid-19 go bhfuil truailliú aeir ina bhagairt do sláinte an phobail. Tugadh le fios i dtuairisc taighde le déanaí go gcuireann teagmháil thar tréimhse fada le aer truaillithe leis an mbaol go mbeidh na torthaí is measa ag othair Covid-19.


Cuireadh an cosc ar ghual deatúil i bhfeidhm don chéad uair i mBaile Átha Cliath sa bhliain 1990 de dheasca toitcheo trom sa gheimhreadh ag an am. Tháinig ísliú ar an leibhéil deataigh agus dé-ocsaíd sulfair san aer dá bharr. Cuireadh an cosc i bhfeidhm i 26 cathair agus baile timpeall na tíre ó shin i leith, ach níl Dún Garbhán ar an líosta seo go fóill. Níl aon stáisiún monatóireachta ar fáil i nDún Garbhán ná in iarthar Phort Láirge, ach tá fianaise ag an nGníomhaireacht um Chaomhnú Comhshaoil (EPA) go mbíonn truailliú aeir níos measa i mbailte lasmuigh den chosc ar ghual deatúil seachas sna cathracha agus bailte móra ina mbíonn an cosc i bhfeidhm.


Tá ag teip ar an rialtas maidir le truailliú aeir. Gealladh Stratéis Aer Glan sa bhliain 2017 ach níl tásc ná tuairisc de ó shin. Níl cosc náisiúnta ar ghual deatúil curtha i bhfeidhm ag an rialtas ach oiread. Táimid ag iarraidh go gcuirfí cosc ar ghual deatúil i bhfeidhm láithreach i nDún Garbhán agus go mbeidh monatóireacht déanta ar chaighdeán an aeir sa bhaile ionas go mbeidh muinín ag an bpobal nach mbíonn gach anáil ag cur a sláinte i mbaol.


West Waterford Greens call for smoky coal ban in Dungarvan.

The West Waterford Greens have called on the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to designate Dungarvan as a Low Smoke Zone. Críostóir Ó Faoláin, a member of the West Waterford Greens, wrote to Minister Bruton to ask that the smoky coal ban be extended to Dungarvan and that air quality monitoring be carried out in the town.


This issue came up during the general election earlier this year. People out for a run we met while canvassing for Marc Ó Cathasaigh told us they could feel the smoke in their lungs. An asthmatic woman told us that she could not step outside her home on a cold evening, and mothers said they were reluctant to bring their children for a walk, because of the smoke from chimneys.

Around 1,500 people die prematurely in Ireland every year due to air pollution without a respiratory virus pandemic to contend with. Poor air quality kills many more people each year than die on our roads, but the problem has been ignored by the government. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the need to take air pollution seriously. A recent research paper has found that long-term exposure to air pollution increases vulnerability to experiencing the most severe Covid-19 outcomes.


The ban on smoky fuels was first introduced in Dublin in 1990 due to severe winter smog. The ban reduced smoke and sulphur dioxide levels in Dublin and has since been extended to 26 cities and towns, but Dungarvan has not yet been included. While there is no monitoring station in Dungarvan or anywhere in west Waterford, the EPA has found evidence that air pollution in smaller urban areas outside smoky coal bans is higher than in larger cities where smoky coal bans apply.


Unfortunately, the government has failed in the area of air pollution. A Clean Air Strategy, promised in 2017 has yet to materialise and a nationwide ban on smoky fuels has not been delivered. We want the ban extended to Dungarvan and proper monitoring put in place so that people can be confident that the air they are breathing is not putting their health at risk.

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