Dáil Éireann - Volume 613 - 02 February, 2006
Written Answers. - EU Directives.
Mr. Penrose Mr. Penrose
217. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if, in view of the implications and serious negative impact of the application of the nitrates regulations, he will take steps to defer the implementation of the same in order to ensure that a regulation, which would protect water quality and allow Irish farmers to remain competitive will be implemented; the steps he will take to examine the possibility of deleting tables 10 to 21 from the  nitrates regulations and replace them with something that is more sensible in this context; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3671/06]
Mr. Roche Mr. Roche
Mr. Roche: The European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2005 have been designed to protect waters against pollution from agricultural sources. The regulations give effect to the EU nitrates directive of 1991 and a number of other directives relating to water quality. They provide for compliance by Ireland with the terms of the judgment of the European Court of Justice delivered in March 2004 which held that Ireland was non-compliant with the nitrates directive. The regulations generally came into effect on 1 February 2006 with specific provisions coming into effect on a phased basis up to 2008.
Part 3 of the regulations deals with nutrient management planning and is based on long-standing Teagasc advice. Teagasc has recently indicated that it may be possible to review part of this advice on the application of phosphorus in a way which could improve the effectiveness of the regulations. The Government and the European Commission saw merit in allowing Teagasc to elaborate this new advice and, accordingly, I have announced a brief de facto deferral of the implementation of Part 3 of the regulations. Teagasc has been requested to provide, as a matter of urgency, the necessary scientific case to support any revision of the phosphorus tables in the regulations. My Department and the Department of Agriculture and Food will carefully consider any submission received from Teagasc having regard to the fact that any proposals for revision of the phosphorus tables must respect the environmental requirements associated with the nitrates directive and will require the agreement of the Commission.
Dáil Éireann 613 Written Answers. EU Directives.