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The Nitrate Pollution Prevention (Wales) Regulations 2013

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PART 2Designation of nitrate vulnerable zones

Designation of nitrate vulnerable zones

7.—(1) In this Part—

“the appointed person” (“y person penodedig”) means a person appointed by the Welsh Ministers;

“relevant holding” (“daliad perthnasol”) means land and its associated buildings that are at the disposal of the occupier and which are used for the growing of crops in soil or rearing of livestock for agricultural purposes, and which are wholly or partly within an area which—

(a)

the Natural Resources Body for Wales recommends; and

(b)

in relation to which the Welsh Ministers are minded to accept that recommendation (with or without amendment), be, or continue to be, designated as a nitrate vulnerable zone for the purposes of these Regulations.

(2) The areas marked as nitrate vulnerable zones on the map marked “Nitrate Vulnerable Zones Index Map 2013” (“Parthau Perygl Nitradau Map Mynegai 2013”) and deposited at the offices of the Welsh Government at Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ are designated as nitrate vulnerable zones for the purposes of these Regulations.

(3) Nitrate vulnerable zones are areas of land that drain into polluted waters and that contribute to the pollution of those waters.

(4) To assist the Welsh Ministers in relation to the duty to review under regulation 11(3), the Natural Resources Body for Wales must, on the date on which these Regulations come into force, and at the latest every four years subsequently, make recommendations to the Welsh Ministers by reference to the matters mentioned in regulation 11(3)(a) to (c) as to which areas be designated, or continue to be designated, as nitrate vulnerable zones for the purposes of these Regulations.

(5) Any recommendations as to the matters stated at regulation 7(4) which have been made by the Natural Resources Body for Wales prior to the date on which these Regulations come into force have effect as if made on that date.

(6) The Welsh Ministers must publish the recommendations of the Natural Resources Body for Wales which they are minded to accept (with or without amendment) and send notice of the recommendations to any owner or occupier of a relevant holding.

(7) A notice must contain a reference to a page on a website maintained by the Natural Resources Body for Wales or the Welsh Ministers where the relevant recommendation (with any amendment the Welsh Ministers are minded to make to it) can be found.

Appeals

8.—(1) The owner or occupier of a relevant holding who is sent a notice under regulation 7(6) may make an appeal against that notice to the Welsh Ministers.

(2) The appeal is to be made only on one or more of the grounds stated in paragraph (3).

(3) The grounds are that in relation to the relevant holding or any part of it, the recommendations of the Natural Resources Body for Wales (subject to any amendment the Welsh Ministers are minded to make to them) should not be accepted by the Welsh Ministers because the relevant holding or any part of it—

(a)does not drain into water which the Welsh Ministers are minded to identify, or continue to identify, as being polluted; or

(b)drains into water that the Welsh Ministers should not identify, or continue to identify, as being polluted.

(4) The appeal is to be based on either—

(a)data provided by the appellant; or

(b)evidence provided by the appellant that the data relied on by the Welsh Ministers is incorrect.

(5) The appeal must—

(a)be made in writing in the manner and form published by the Welsh Ministers;

(b)include details of all the evidence that the appellant intends to rely on; and

(c)be received by the Welsh Ministers no later than 35 days after the date on which the Welsh Ministers sent the notice to which the appeal relates.

(6) The Welsh Ministers must remit the appeal to the appointed person for consideration and determination.

Proceedings before the appointed person

9.—(1) If the appointed person is satisfied that a submitted appeal complies with the requirements of regulation 8 in all material particulars, the appointed person must proceed to determine the appeal.

(2) The procedure for determining the appeal is to be decided by the appointed person.

(3) But that is subject to the following provisions of this regulation.

(4) Before determining the appeal the appointed person must, allowing such time as is reasonable—

(a)invite the appellant and the Welsh Ministers to submit representations and supporting documents in relation to the appeal;

(b)send to the Welsh Ministers a copy of any representations and supporting documents submitted by the appellant;

(c)send to the appellant a copy of any representations and supporting documents submitted by the Welsh Ministers;

(d)allow the appellant and the Welsh Ministers an opportunity to submit comments on each other’s representations and supporting documents to the appointed person.

(5) The appointed person may at any time request further information from the appellant or the Welsh Ministers.

(6) The appointed person may invite any person appearing to have a significant interest in an appeal to submit representations, but must allow the appellant and the Welsh Ministers an opportunity to submit comments on any representations made.

(7) The appointed person may disregard any representations, comments or documents which have been submitted other than in accordance with the provisions of these Regulations.

(8) The appointed person may, if satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist, convene an oral hearing.

(9) At an oral hearing the appellant and the Welsh Ministers have the right to appear, and the appointed person may permit any other party to appear.

(10) On determining an appeal, the appointed person must send a copy of the determination to all parties to the appeal.

(11) All parties to an appeal are to bear their own costs.

(12) An appeal may be withdrawn by the appellant at any time before it is determined by the appointed person.

(13) Withdrawal of an appeal is to be effected by the appellant giving notice in writing to the appointed person.

(14) If an appeal is withdrawn, the appointed person ceases to be under a duty to consider and determine it.

Effect of a determination made by the appointed person

10.—(1) The Welsh Ministers are bound by a determination of an appeal by the appointed person.

(2) The Welsh Ministers must publish on a website maintained by them all determinations of appeals by the appointed person.

Review of nitrate vulnerable zones

11.—(1) The Welsh Ministers must keep under review the eutrophic state of fresh surface waters, estuarial and coastal waters.

(2) Before 1 January 2017, and at least every four years subsequently, the Welsh Ministers must monitor the nitrate concentration in freshwaters over a period of one year—

(a)at sampling stations that are representative of surface water, at least monthly and more frequently during flood periods, and

(b)at sampling stations that are representative of groundwater, at regular intervals and taking into account the provisions of Council Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption(1),

except for those sampling stations where the nitrate concentration in all previous samples taken for this purpose has been below 25 mg/l and no new factor likely to increase the nitrate content has appeared, in which case the monitoring programme need be repeated only every eight years.

(3) At the end of each four year or eight year period at the latest the Welsh Ministers must—

(a)identify water that is or could be affected by pollution if the controls in these Regulations are not applied in that area, using the criteria in Annex I to Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources(2);

(b)identify land that drains into those waters, or water similarly identified in England, and that contributes to the pollution of those waters;

(c)take into account changes and factors unforeseen at the time of the previous designation; and

(d)if necessary revise or add to the designation of nitrate vulnerable zones.

(1)

OJ No. L330, 5.12.1998, p.32.

(2)

OJ No. L375, 31.12.1991, p.1 as last amended by Regulation (EC) 1137/2008 (OJ No. L311, 21.11.2008, p.1).

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