Agricultural nitrate pollution prevention
Agricultural nitrate pollution prevention

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Agricultural nitrate pollution prevention
  • Brexit impact
  • The Nitrates Directive
  • Nitrate vulnerable zones
  • Action programmes
  • Review
  • Criminal offence
  • Civil sanctions
  • Cross compliance
  • Other controls on the agricultural use and storage of nitrates
  • More...

Brexit impact

As of exit day (31 January 2020), the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this content.

For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—impact on environmental law and News Analysis: Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.

The Floods and Water (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/558 effective from Implementation Period completion date, make amendments to legislation in the fields of floods and water. Part 2 amends primary legislation, Part 3 amends secondary legislation and Part 4 amends and revokes certain EU Decisions. In particular, Part 3 introduces a new reporting requirement into the Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations 1989 and also into the Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations 2015, SI 2015/668. These new regulations also outline objectives against which the SoS must review the overall position of derogations granted under the Nitrate Pollution Preventions Regulations 2015. See below for more details.

The Nitrates Directive

The Nitrates Directive requires controls on nitrates in farming. It aims to reduce water pollution from agricultural nitrates and prevent further pollution. It requires Member States to establish action programmes containing rules that apply in nitrate vulnerable zones (NVZs). Every four years, they must review both the areas that need

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