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The Reduction and Prevention of Agricultural Diffuse Pollution (England) Regulations 2018

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2.—(1) In these Regulations—

“the Agency” means the Environment Agency;

“agricultural diffuse pollution” means the transportation of agricultural pollutants into inland freshwaters or coastal waters, or into a spring, well or borehole, where—

(a)

the transportation occurs by means of soil erosion or leaching, and

(b)

the agricultural pollutants may be harmful to human health or the quality of aquatic ecosystems or terrestrial ecosystems directly depending on aquatic ecosystems;

“agricultural land” means land used for agriculture for the purposes of a trade or business;

“coastal waters” has the meaning given in section 104 of the Water Resources Act 1991(1);

“inland freshwaters” has the meaning given in section 104 of the Water Resources Act 1991;

“land manager” means any person who has custody or control of agricultural land;

“livestock” means cattle, sheep, goats, deer, horses, poultry or pigs;

“livestock manure” means excreta from livestock or a mixture of litter and excreta from livestock, including in processed form;

“manufactured fertiliser” means fertiliser made by an industrial process;

“organic manure” means fertiliser derived from one or more animal, plant or human source, including—

(a)

anaerobic digestates and liquors,

(b)

ash from meat, poultry litter or biomass,

(c)

bone meal,

(d)

livestock manure,

(e)

paper crumble,

(f)

silage effluent,

(g)

sludge, and

(h)

slurry;

“poaching” means the trampling or treading of agricultural land by livestock resulting in a layer of compacted soil with overlying mud;

“precision spreading equipment” includes—

(a)

a trailing hose spreader or a trailing shoe spreader,

(b)

a shallow injector which injects organic manure no deeper than 10 centimetres below the surface, and

(c)

a dribble bar applicator;

“slurry” means liquid or semi-liquid matter with a consistency enabling it to be pumped or to be discharged by gravity, which is composed of—

(a)

excreta produced by livestock while in a yard or building (including that held in wood chip corrals), or

(b)

a mixture of livestock excreta, livestock bedding, rainwater and washings from a yard or building used by livestock.

(2) References in these Regulations to “application” in relation to organic manure or manufactured fertiliser—

(a)include—

(i)spreading on the surface of the land,

(ii)injection into the land, and

(iii)mixing with the surface layers of the soil, and

(b)do not include the direct deposit of excreta onto land by livestock.

(3) In this regulation—

“agricultural pollutants” means—

(a)

soil,

(b)

sediment, or

(c)

any substance found in soil, sediment, organic manure or manufactured fertiliser which, as a result of human activity, is directly or indirectly introduced to agricultural land, including—

(i)

faecal organisms (from animal excreta),

(ii)

magnesium,

(iii)

nitrogen,

(iv)

phosphorus,

(v)

potassium, and

(vi)

sulphur;

“agriculture” includes—

(a)

horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming, livestock breeding and keeping,

(b)

the use of land as grazing land, meadow land, osier land, market gardens and nursery grounds, and

(c)

the use of land for woodlands where that use is ancillary to the farming of land for other agricultural purposes;

“anaerobic digestate” means a product of anaerobic digestion, other than from sewage or material in a landfill, which has a consistency enabling it to be pumped or to be discharged by gravity;

“anaerobic digestion” means the mesophilic and thermophilic biological decomposition and stabilisation of biodegradable waste which—

(a)

is carried on under controlled anaerobic conditions,

(b)

produces a methane-rich gas mixture, and

(c)

results in stable sanitised material that can be applied to land for the benefit of agriculture or to improve the soil structure or nutrients in land;

“leaching” means the process by which agricultural pollutants are washed or drained from soil into inland freshwaters or coastal waters, or into a spring, well or borehole, by rainwater or other liquid applied to agricultural land;

“sludge” means residual sludge from—

(a)

septic tanks and other similar installations for the treatment of sewage, or

(b)

sewage plants treating—

(i)

domestic or urban waste waters, and

(ii)

waste waters of a composition similar to domestic and urban waste waters;

“soil erosion” means soil loss caused by—

(a)

soil runoff or degradation over a single area of agricultural land (whether or not crossing permanent boundary features) of at least 1 hectare, or

(b)

poaching adjacent to inland freshwaters or coastal waters over a single stretch of agricultural land (whether or not crossing permanent boundary features) which is at least 2 metres wide and 20 metres long;

“soil runoff” means the transportation of agricultural pollutants into inland freshwaters or coastal waters, or into a spring, well or borehole, by rainwater or other water running over the soil surface.

(1)

1991 c. 57. Section 104(1) was modified by S.I. 1996/3001, 1997/1331 and 1997/1332. The functions of the Secretary of State under section 104 were, so far as exercisable in relation to Wales, transferred to the National Assembly for Wales by S.I. 1999/672, article 2; see the entry in Schedule 1 for the Water Resources Act.

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