Consultation Paper on the Nitrates Action Programme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010
For your attention, a joint consultation paper from the Department of the Environment and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (the Departments) seeking your views on proposals for revised Regulations to control nitrate pollution from agricultural sources.
The EC Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) requires Member States to introduce action programmes to reduce nitrates from agricultural sources entering the aquatic environment and to review their action programmes every four years. In Northern Ireland an action programme was set out in the Nitrates Action Programme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 (2006 NAP Regulations) and these must be reviewed and, where necessary, revised by 31 December 2010. The Departments, therefore, intend to make the Nitrates Action Programme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 (2010 NAP Regulations) in December 2010, to come into operation on 1 January 2011. The 2006 NAP Regulations will then be revoked. The proposed revisions to some measures compared to those contained the 2006 NAP Regulations will have some financial implications for the agricultural industry. However, over a 20-year period it is estimated that the financial benefits to the agricultural industry associated with implementing an action programme acceptable under the EC Nitrates Directive will substantially outweigh the costs. These issues are discussed in detail in the partial Regulatory Impact Assessment included in the Consultation paper.
Similar legislation is also in place in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.
The consultation paper is also available on the Departmentsí websites at www.doeni.gov.uk and www.dardni.gov.uk. The closing date for comments on the proposals is 13 August 2010.
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