Ireland consults on nitrates directive

Ireland has launched a public consultation paper on ways to prevent water courses becoming polluted with nitrates from agricultural run-off.

The emphasis is on the management of livestock manures and other fertilisers as these are the primary sources of nitrate pollution.

In particular, the regulations will support the implementation of Ireland's Nitrates Action Programme which was formally submitted to the European Court of Justice at the end of July. The European Court had found Ireland in breach of the Nitrates Directive in March 2004 for failing to establish such an action programme.

Minister Dick Roche urged all interested parties to respond to the consultation paper. "We want to hear the views of all concerned," he said. "The submissions received will be carefully considered before the Regulations are finalised."

The closing date for receipt of responses is Friday 4 November 2005. Full details are on the department's website

David Hopkins



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