The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien T.D. and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., have today announced the opening of public consultation in relation to the fourth review of Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme.
Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme (NAP) gives effect to the requirements of the Nitrates Directive in Ireland. The European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 605 of 2017) commonly referred to as the Nitrates regulations, contain specific measures to protect surface waters and groundwater from nutrient pollution arising from agricultural sources. The regulations expire at the end of 2021 and a new Nitrates Action programme must be published at the beginning of 2022.
In opening this public consultation Minister O’Brien said, “Protecting and maintaining water quality is a national priority and Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme plays an important role in helping us to achieve this objective. This review of the Programme also gives us an opportunity to ensure it is realising this objective in parallel with biodiversity and climate action objectives as effectively as possible.”
Minister McConalogue added, “This review is a key step in the preparation of regulations that will underpin Ireland’s fifth Nitrates Action Programme which will remain in place until 2025. I look forward to hearing from a wide range of stakeholders during this important consultation process, which will help us to focus on developing a more sustainable agricultural sector,” he concluded.
The consultation paper can be downloaded here. The closing date for receipt of responses is 15 January 2021.