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The Nitrate Pollution Prevention (Wales) Regulations 2013

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations revoke and replace the Nitrate Pollution Prevention (Wales) Regulations 2008 which controlled the application of nitrogen fertiliser in nitrate sensitive areas.

In relation to Wales, these Regulations continue to implement Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution by nitrates from agricultural sources (OJ No. L375, 31.12.91, p.1).

Principal changes

The principal changes are as follows.

Regulation 4 makes transitional provision for those holdings newly designated within a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone by virtue of these Regulations, with most provisions not applying to them until 1 January 2014. Provisions relating to closed period for spreading nitrogen fertiliser and for storage of organic manure do not apply until 1 August 2015.

Regulation 7 designates nitrate vulnerable zones.

Regulation 13 introduces an exception to the 250 kg limit on nitrogen which may be spread on a given hectare within nitrate vulnerable zones.

Regulation 16 requires that when calculating the total amount of nitrogen applied to land the occupier must include the nitrogen contribution from all organic manure applied to the land in that calculation.

Regulation 17 increases the nitrogen value attributed to livestock manure and prescribes how the nitrogen value of other organic manure must be established.

Regulation 22 permits the spreading of organic manure within 6 meters of surface water if it is spread by precision spreading equipment.

Regulation 26 extends the closed periods for spreading organic manure with high readily available nitrogen for all soils other than sandy or shallow to 31 January with effect from 2014.

Regulation 29 reduces the amount of slurry that can be spread following the end of the closed period to 30 cubic metres per hectare.

Regulation 43 exempts holdings upon which 80% or more of the agricultural area is sown with grass and which limit their application of nitrogen from certain record keeping requirements.

The Regulations

Part 2 of these Regulations designate nitrate vulnerable zones, and establish an appeals procedure against the designation.

Part 3 imposes annual limits on the amount of nitrogen from organic manure that may be applied or spread in a holding in a nitrate vulnerable zone.

Part 4 establishes requirements relating to the amount of nitrogen to be spread on a crop, and requires an occupier to plan in advance how much nitrogen fertiliser will be spread.

Part 5 requires an occupier to provide a risk map of the holding, and imposes conditions on how, where and when to spread nitrogen fertiliser.

Part 6 establishes closed periods during which it is prohibited to spread nitrogen fertiliser.

Part 7 makes provision for how nitrogen fertiliser must be stored, and requires storage capacity for manure produced on the holding during the period specified in that Part.

Part 8 specifies what records must be kept.

Part 9 requires the Welsh Ministers to review the Regulations within set time scales.

These Regulations are enforced by the Natural Resources Body of Wales.

Breach of these Regulations is an offence punishable—

(a)on summary conviction, with a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or

(b)on conviction on indictment, with a fine.

The Welsh Ministers’ Code of Practice on the carrying out of Regulatory Impact Assessments was considered in relation to these Regulations. As a result, a regulatory impact assessment has been prepared as to the likely costs and benefits of complying with these Regulations. A copy can be obtained from the Sustainable Land Management Branch, Welsh Government, Rhodfa Padarn, Llanbadarn Fawr, Aberystwyth, SY23 3UR.

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