The ban on smoky coal will be extended to 13 additional towns, including Enniscorthy, from September 1st, 2020.
The plan, which was given Cabinet approval on Tuesday morning, comes amid dire health warnings about the risk of smoky coal from the World Health Organisation and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Ministers this week heard that three of the 13 towns – Enniscorthy, Cobh and Castlebar – are among the worst in terms of air quality standards in the country.
All of the 13 towns selected have populations of between 10,000-15,000 people.
Local Minister and TD, Paul Kehoe, welcomed the decision to extend the ban, adding that the lead in period will allow distributors to order appropriate fuel types for next winter’s season.
“I am extremely supportive of this proposal,” Minister Kehoe said, saying that he knows the issue is of concern to the community and businesses.
“The EPA has said that 1,500 people per year die prematurely due to poor air quality,” Minister Kehoe said.
“Extending the ban on the use of smoky coal would have a positive impact on air quality, particularly in built up areas like Enniscorthy,” he added.