Sale of wet wood for domestic burning now restricted
Restrictions have been introduced on the sale of wet wood for domestic burning. The Air Quality (Domestic Solid Fuels Standards) (England) Regulations 2020 also limit the emission of sulphur and smoke from manufactured solid fuels and phase out the sale of bituminous coal (traditional house coal). Criminal sanctions can be used by local authorities where the rules are broken.
The government has taken this action because domestic burning through wood burning stoves and open fires is a major contributor to national emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). The new Regulations apply in England and Wales only.
The Regulations have been made under section 87 of the Environment Act 1995 and give partial effect to the Government’s Clean Air Strategy published in 2019 by phasing out the sale of the most polluting fuels used for domestic burning. The Regulations also help meet obligations placed upon the UK by the EU Treaties and international agreements relating to air quality.
PM2.5 has been identified by the World Health Organisation as the most damaging air pollutant. The tiny particles in smoke can enter the bloodstream and internal organs causing long term health issues, as well as having more immediate impacts on some, such as breathing problems or asthma attacks. Domestic burning is a major contributor to our national emissions of PM2.5.