Tuesday, 7 February 1989
Dáil Éireann Debate
Tomás Mac Giolla: asked the Minister for the Environment if it is intended to publish in full the findings of research into the effectiveness of the full burning fire and its suitability for use within  smoke control zones; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Mr. Flynn: Results of the programme of testing of fuels and appliances, including the full burning fire, are expected in the near future, and I will then consider whether, or in what manner, it may be appropriate to publish the results.
Tomás Mac Giolla: Is the Minister aware of the extreme urgency attaching to this matter? Residents in the first smoke-free zone are now installing various appliances. These residents must have work completed by 31 May if they are not to be subject to fines of £1,000. Therefore, it is very important that they know if the full burning fire is effective. I am sure the Minister would agree that it would be of little use for them to know that it is not effective after they have installed it. Could the Minister say specifically when the results will be published? Could he also let us know what brief he gave to Eolas on the testing of this fire? Did he make any reference in that brief to the ignition period of the full burning fire and the need to test it adequately?
Mr. Flynn: I agree with the Deputy that there is some urgency attaching to this matter. We have been pressing that the Eolas work programme be concluded as soon as possible, as long as it is done efficiently and properly. We expect it in early March and I think the Deputy will agree that will give us sufficient time to deal with the matter.
There were three objectives in so far as the test programme was concerned. One was to carry out smoke emissions testing of appropriate fuels and appliances for use in domestic heating in the Dublin area and to identify the maximum smoke emission that can be allowed from burning solid fuels in the Dublin area if acceptable air standards are to be met, and to make recommendations on the criteria which authorised applicances and fuels must comply with if the required reductions in smoke levels are to be achieved. Also there is  under way in the UK some testing of the applicance the Deputy mentioned and it is being tested in all its various modes of operation. The important thing is that any appliance would not only be under rigorous testing but that would apply to all the modes of burning attached to it so that we can get first class and proper results that we can apply to the other areas. I accept there is an urgency attached to it.
Tomás Mac Giolla: I thank the Minister for impressing the urgency on Eolas. Does he expect in the results he will get from Eolas that smoke levels for the first hour could be exceptionally high and then very low for the remainder of the period? Is the smoke emission to be evaluated over a 24 hour period or over an hour by hour period? Does the Minister understand what I mean?
Mr. Flynn: The Deputy understands exactly what the testing is about to achieve and we are going to deal with all the modes of burning from the very start up when obviously it will be much smokier than when at full burning capacity. All the various modes are going to be tested under the new arrangement and we will have the results of the lot, which should be satisfactory from the Deputy's point of view and from ours.
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