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Review of the Implementation of the Nitrates Directive in Wales

The Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) requires Member States to review their implementation of the Directive every four years.
Start of consultation: 23/12/2011
End of consultation: 16/03/2012

The EC Nitrates Directive is intended to reduce water pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources and is transposed in Wales under the Nitrate Pollution Prevention (Wales) Regulations 2008.

What is the current position?

Member States are required to review their implementation of the Directive every four years. The outcome of the review is used to make appropriate amendments to the NVZs and/or the Action Programme measures. The last review undertaken by the Welsh Government in 2007 resulted in the designation of 2.3% of the land area of Wales as Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs)  and introduced a strengthened range of measures in the Nitrates Action Programme that farms located within NVZs must implement to comply with the Directive.

The evidence for change

This consultation document is part of the current review and invites opinions from individuals and organisations on proposals  to:

  • Revise the coverage of NVZs; and
  • Modify the Action Programme measures implemented within the NVZs.

Indicative maps are attached at Annex 2.

The proposed new NVZs for designation follow the latest evidence and data from the Environment Agency about waters in Wales that are classed as nitrate polluted waters under the Directive.

The consultation also invites opinion on rationalising the Water Resources (Control of Pollution) (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) (Wales) Regulations 2010 (SSAFO).

The NVZ proposals have potential implications for all farmers in existing NVZs and new NVZ areas. If you are affected by these changes please let us know what you think of the proposed designations and the proposed action programme measures.