An Taisce warned the Agriculture Department’s fifth Nitrates Action Plan (NAP) could be “ready to face a regulatory challenge”.
na filed with the ministry – written before the announcement of the new NAP last Friday – the charity raised legal concerns about NAP’s strategic environmental assessment, its Natura Impact Statement and the Department’s request for another negation under the EU Nitrates Directive.
The European Commission will vote this Thursday on Ireland’s fifth recall application to allow around 7,000 farmers to operate with a higher stocking rate subject to certain environmental conditions.
Key changes in the new NAP include expanding both the closed phase to slurry and chemical fertilizers, cutting fertilizer use by 10 percent, establishing a fertilizer registry, and placing a stronger focus on compliance. and enforcement, and gives calculated ranges of excretion rates at 80kg/ha, 92kg/ha, and 106kg/ha.
To remain below the maximum allowable organic nitrogen load of 250kg/ha during dehydration, fewer cows per hectare would be required.
Elaine McGoff of An Taisce said: “There are a lot of holes in the [the Department’s] legal review, which would leave NAP open to legal challenge if someone like An Taisce, or another similar organization, sees fit to do so.
“I am not saying that we, as An Taisce, will or will not seek to challenge this because we have not considered it yet.
“Our analysis of the NAP is based on the draft document and we have not had a chance to review the final document.”
Denis Drennan of ICMSA said: “A Taisce doesn’t understand agriculture, that’s part of the problem. It is bananas that they would even recommend legal action for.
“I am a negative farmer. We are in mid-March, I have no mud, no fertilizer.
“I won’t need to spread the mud for another two weeks because I already have more capacity than I need.
“Previous regulations were adequate to protect water resources and given the price of fertilizers and the value of sludge, it will lead to self-enforcement.
“Nobody is dumping nitrogen like in previous years or dumping mud during the closure, we just need a little patience.”
“If we lose the case, I will be out of business, which means my cows will drop by 20pc. I will go under 50 cows. ”
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/forestry-enviro/environment/nitrates-action-plan-may-be-open-to-legal-challenges-an-taisce-41446880.html Nitrates action plan could ‘open door to regulatory challenges’ – An Taisce