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Nitrates derogation may not be allowed after review next year
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Nitrates derogation may not be allowed after review next year

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Farmers may no longer be allowed to enter derogation if they are overstocked once the Nitrates Review takes place next year.
Farmers may no longer be allowed to enter derogation if they are overstocked once the Nitrates Review takes place next year.

A recent report showing a slight deterioration in water quality may prevent Ireland from securing a derogation request in the next Nitrates Action Programme which will run from 2018 to 2021. The Minister for Agriculture has said that a request for a new nitrates derogation will be submitted to the European Commission as part of the review process.

“Although having been successful in all previous derogation requests, this review will be complicated by the recent EPA report on Water Quality 2012 – 2015,” Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has said. “Previous reports all revealed an increase in water quality albeit a slow and gradual improvement. This report, however, at best reveals a stalling of this trend in improvement and at worst shows a slight deterioration in the water quality of certain types of water courses.”

Agreeing a new nitrates action programme and securing a derogation is on the agenda for 2017. The Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government will conduct the review with the European Commission.

“I understand that a full consultation process will be carried out as part of reviewing the action programme in early 2017 and all issues raised by stakeholders will be fully considered as part of this process,” Creed said in response to a parliamentary question from Jackie Cahill.

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