Review of Irish Nitrates Programme under way with derogation on the line
The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, has commenced the process of review of the Nitrates Action Programme.
The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney confirmed the review has commenced prior to formal engagement with the European Commission with a view to having a new Nitrates Action Programme (NAP) in place by 2018 to run up to 2021.
Minister Coveney also confirmed that a request for a new nitrates derogation will be submitted to the Commission as part of the review process.
He said a full consultation process will be carried out in early 2017 as part of this review and any issues raised by stakeholders will be considered as part of that process.
Agreeing a new NAP before the end of 2017, and maintaining the derogation (which is currently availed of by almost. 7,000 farmers), is an important aspect of sustaining balanced growth in the rural economy.
The Nitrates Derogation is available to grassland farms on an individual basis. The derogation applies only to grazing livestock on the holding.
Farmers who wish to avail of the derogation have to make an annual application and farm in accordance with a fertiliser plan and the conditions set out below.
The Derogation allows the application of a higher amount of livestock manure than that provided for in the Nitrates Regulations (where the limit is 170kg of N per hectare per year from livestock manure) subject to certain conditions.