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Rural water supplies in Ireland are in danger of being polluted by slurry, as farmers are forced to empty slurry tanks or spead on wet ground, due to abnormally high rainfall, reports The Irish Times. A farmers’ spokesman said that while farmers are advised not to spread slurry when rainfall is expected within 48 hours, such a period was very hard to find last year, and so the only way to avoid slurry pits overflowing is to fit expensive drainage equipment, says the report.

German Environment Minister, Jurgen Trittin, has sparked a fresh controversy with a proposal for a tax on nuclear fuel rods. The tax is unlikely to be approved, as the Finance Ministry immediately rejected the idea. Trittin has already fallen out with Chancellor Schroeder once on the nuclear issue, when he unilaterally dissolved to nuclear commissions without informing Schroeder, reports Reuter.

EU Environment Ministers agreed at the end of last year on a proposed strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars. The strategy includes establishing a scheme to monitor the average specific emissions from new passenger cars; a Directive on consumer information on fuel economy of new passenger cars; and voluntary agreements between the European Commission and the Japanese and Korean Automobile Manufacturers Associations (which should produce the same results as those expected from the agreement reached with the European Manufacturers Association ACEA).

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