Consultation on new nitrates action programme: Submission deadline looms

The deadline for the public consultation period of Ireland’s new Nitrates Action Programme is looming, with a closing date of Friday, January 15.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland’s new Nitrates Action Programme (NAP) is currently being prepared for 2022-2025, “which plays an important role in protecting our waters from pollution arising from agricultural sources”.

Ireland’s NAP gives effect to the requirements of the Nitrates Directive in Ireland.

The EU (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 NAP must be published at the beginning of 2022.

The consultation was launched by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien back in November.

Commenting at the time, Minister McConalogue said this review is a key step in the preparation of regulations that will underpin Ireland’s fifth NAP, which will remain in place until 2025.

“I look forward to hearing from a wide range of stakeholders during this consultation process, which will help us to focus on developing a more sustainable agricultural sector,” he concluded.

The consultation paper can be found online at gov.ie.