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The Nitrates Directive is intended to reduce water pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources. We are required to review our implementation of it every four years. Since its agreement in1991, implementation in the UK has evolved as we have developed our understanding of the Directive itself and as the evidence base has grown. The last review, in 2007, eventually resulted in the designation of 62% of England as Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) and introduced a strengthened range of measures in the Nitrates Action Programme that farms within NVZs must comply with.
The purpose of this Consultation Paper was three-fold:
- to seek your views on options for revised Action Programme measures to control nitrogen pollution from agricultural sources from 2013 onwards;
- to ask whether you think we should apply these measures within discrete Nitrate Vulnerable Zones or throughout the whole of England; and
- to set out some proposals to rationalise the Water Resources (Control of Pollution) (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) Regulations 2010.
If the measures are applied in discrete Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, this consultation also tells you:
- how we intend to identify those Nitrate Vulnerable Zones; and
- about the process for challenging the designation of land as a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone.
NVZ Soft Boundaries have been published on the EA’s WIYBY (What’s in your back yard) site. Zoom in to see the maps. If you click the blue and white “i” button in the legend it takes you to a page of further information with links to the Defra and WG websites.