On January 23, 2017 the the Malopolska Regional Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution assuming restrictions and prohibitions concerning the operation of fuel combustion installations in the Malopolska Region. This is the first regulation in Poland which, at the level of the entire region, introduces emission standards for boilers and fireplaces approved for use and eliminates the use of poor quality fuels. At the same time, this is the second step, after adopting the resolution of 15 January 2016, banning the use of solid fuels in Krakow, to improve the air quality in the whole Malopolska Region.
The resolution envisages the gradual implementation of legislation that will first limit the creation of new sources of emissions and, by 2023, all non-compliant boilers will be eliminated.
From July 1, 2017, it will be forbidden to burn coal muds and floatation concentrates, i.e. coal with grain size less than 3mm. It will also not be allowed to use fuels that contain more than 15% of the fine coal fraction, which will prevent the addition of coal mud and floatation concentrates to coarser coal fractions. The resolution also prohibits the burning of wood and other biomass with a moisture content greater than 20%. In practice, achieving the indicated moisture content of wood is possible through its seasoning for at least 2 years.
All of the boilers, fireplaces, stoves or ovens of the “goat” type whose operation will begin after July 1, 2017 will have to meet ecodesign requirements for energy efficiency and emission standards. This provision applies to both the newly constructed buildings and the installation of new heating devices replaced in the existing buildings, for example after a failure or the end if use of an old boiler or fireplace. The requirements for boilers are laid down in Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1189 of April 2015 and the requirements for room heaters (fireplaces, stoves) are laid down in Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1185 of 24 April 2015. On the site powietrze.malopolska.pl/kotly, there is a list of boilers, fireplaces and stoves which meet the requirements of these regulations.
As at January 1, 2023, the resolution bans all of the existing boilers that do not meet emission standards. In the case of the boilers that meet the requirements of Class 3 or Class 4, the ban on their use has been postponed to January 1, 2027. This means that, during the coming 6 years (in the case of Class 3 or 4 boilers – within 10 years) the current boilers must be replaced by boilers that meet ecodesign requirements for energy efficiency and emissions. Class 5 boilers, whose operation starts by June 30, 2017, can be used without a time limit.
Since January 1, 2023, it will be allowed to use only room heaters (fireplaces and stoves) that meet ecodesign requirements or their thermal efficiency is at least 80%. It is sufficient to meet one of these conditions. In the case of a fireplace or stove that does not meet these requirements, the use of a particulate matter reduction device, e.g. an electrostatic precipitator, will reduce the particulate matter emission to the level specified in the ecodesign regulations.
The resolution does not introduce additional powers for inspection bodies, as they result from the already existing provisions of the Environmental Protection Act, the Police Act and other laws. Inspections of compliance with the requirements of the resolution may be conducted by the municipal and city police, authorized employees of municipalities, police and other bodies (district inspectorate of construction supervision, voivodeship inspectorate of environmental protection) and, in the case of violating the provisions of the resolution, the given resident can be fined up to PLN 500 or PLN 5 000.