Air Protection Programme for Małopolska 2020. Frequently asked questions


Will there be an absolute ban on smoking coal and wood in Małopolska?

No, the new Air Protection Programme does not introduce a ban on smoking coal and wood in Małopolska. The antismoking equipment and fuel allowed for use is indicated in the antismoking resolution for Małopolska. According to its guidelines, from July 2017, it is not allowed to install a new furnace for coal, wood or fireplace in the Małopolska region with emission parameters worse than those set out in the EU regulations on the so-called Ecodesign. From 2020, all coal and wood-fired heaters available for sale in Poland and the European Union must meet ecodesign requirements. The list of approved appliances can also be found on the website:

Will I have to replace the coal furnace?

Yes, if it does not meet the requirements of the anti-smoke resolution. If you have an out-of-class furnace (the so-called “kopciuch”) you must replace it by the end of 2022. The boiler of 3rd or 4th class must be replaced by the end of 2026. On the other hand, if you used the 5th class boiler before July 1st 2017, you can use it until the end of its life. All newly installed solid fuel appliances must meet the ecodesign requirements. Have an automatic fuel feeder and cannot be fitted with an emergency grate (except for wood gasifying cookers).”

What about modern coal-fired furnaces (fourth, fifth generation)?

The 4th class coal-fired boilers should be replaced by the end of 2026. However, class 5 boilers installed before 1 July 2017 can be operated until the end of their service life. These requirements result from the antismog resolution adopted for Małopolska in 2017. The air protection programme, on the other hand, obliges local governments to take a number of measures to support residents in adapting to the requirements of the antismog resolution.

Will there be subsidies to replace ovens? What kind?

There are a number of programmes in Poland from which such subsidies can be obtained, including Clean Air, My Current, Stop Smog, but also thermomodernisation relief and municipal programmes. The POP does not introduce any further subsidy programmes, but rather emphasises the better use of existing ones. In a year’s time, each municipalities should have an eco-manager and a service point for the Clean Air program. Depending on the family’s income, the programme offers the possibility of up to 60% co-financing for furnace replacement and investments related to the improvement of energy efficiency of the building (e.g. insulation, replacement of windows). It has also been recommended to allocate at least 1% of the municipalities’ own income to air protection activities since 2021.

What can I do if I see that a neighbour is smoking poor coal or rubbish, for example? Who specifically according to the POP (and since when) will have to intervene/control, when and to what extent?

This can be reported directly to the municipality, to the municipal/communal guard or by means of the Eco-intervention application. The application can be downloaded on the phone or run on the website:

Municipalities have also been required to include information on their websites about the possibility of reporting waste incineration.

The new Air Protection Programme obliges the authority responsible for inspections, i.e. the municipality’s self-government, to take action within 12 hours of receiving the notification.

Will there be subsidies for heating costs for those who switch from an out-of-class furnace to a gas boiler, for example? For whom? How much?

Such subsidies may be decided by the municipality. The so-called “subsidies for increased heating costs” has been adopted, e.g. by the local government of Krakow, and a programme of social subsidies for heating costs also exists, e.g. in Zabierzów. The subsidies have a social character and are implemented through Social Assistance Centres. There are, also, a number of government and other programmes that provide funding to replace the furnace, which are supported by ecomanagers, according to POP, who are employed in each municipality no later than September 30th 2021.

Does the Air Protection Programme oblige municipalities to support people affected by energy poverty?

The POP recommends, among other things, that at least 1% of the municipalities’ own income be allocated to air protection activities from 2021, and a part of this amount be used for protective programmes.

Who will physically collect data about what kind of heat source is in the house? Is such a person entitled to enter the house if the owner refuses to provide data?

On the basis of the Act on the amendment of the Act on supporting thermomodernization and renovation adopted by the Parliament, the owner and administrator of the building is obliged to submit to the municipal office information about the type of heating and class of the boiler used. Data on heating sources are also collected by municipal employees or persons authorised by the municipalities. After the launch of the Central Building Emissions Register, these data will also be verified by chimney sweepers and district building supervision inspectors. According to POP, the residents of Małopolska are obliged to provide such information to the persons authorised by the communes.

Will there be an absolute ban on recreational smoking in domestic fireplaces throughout Małopolska? Since when would such a ban apply?

No, the ban on the use of fireplaces will apply when there is a 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree smog hazard. This ban will therefore depend on the state of the air quality in individual localities. Degrees of danger are announced for poviats. In practice, this means that in localities where the air quality is the worst, it may be a longer period, but in other places it is only several days per year. The more the air in individual localities improves, the more this ban will not have to be applied. The ban applies only to fireplaces that are not the only source of heating.

How will POP influence the use of recreational plots? In particular, will it be possible to burn leaves and other bio-waste?

According to the Act on waste from 14 December 2012, we are prohibited from burning leaves and branches on plots and in gardens. For burning plant waste, which causes smoke to be generated that is inconvenient for owners of neighbouring properties, there is a fine of up to PLN 500.

The issue of burning plant residues is also regulated by the municipal cleaning regulations. Usually municipalities collect such waste and prohibit its incineration.

Will it be possible to use barbecues in Krakow or other places?

Yes, you can use barbecues in Krakow and other places. The air protection programme does not introduce restrictions in this aspect. Only barbecues which are not a stationary technical device as defined by law may be used in Krakow, in accordance with the applicable anti-smoke resolution (e.g. brick barbecues are prohibited).

Will there be a ban on older car models entering the centre of Krakow and other cities? What will Euro 5 and Euro 6 zones be?

The Air Protection Programme provides for the creation of a clean transport zone in Krakow from 2026 based on vehicle emission standards. The implementation of this measure is conditional on the introduction of appropriate changes to the regulations at the statutory level.

The final shape of the zone will be prepared by the City of Krakow in the implementation plan. It has been recommended to restrict entry for cars with diesel engines below Euro 6 and cars with petrol engines below Euro 4. When the restrictions come into force (the clean transport zone), cars with diesel engines below Euro 6 will then be at least 11 years old, i.e. largely exhausted. In contrast, cars with a petrol engine below Euro 4 will be at least 20 years old.

What penalties do mayors face for being late in fulfilling POP provisions (and for what and when)?

In the event of failure to meet the deadlines for the implementation of actions specified in the POP, the Voivodship Inspector for Environmental Protection may impose a fine on the commune or poviat from PLN 50,000 to 500,000.