Thursday, 8 December 2005
Department of Agriculture and Food
I propose to take Questions Nos. 64 and 87 together.
The implementation of the nitrates directive is a matter in the first instance for the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Ireland's national action programme was formally submitted to the European Commission in July, and regulations giving legal effect to the programme are being finalised following a consultation process. Where the requirements of REPS are superseded by the regulations, then the scheme requirements must be amended or updated as appropriate. The nitrates action programme and the regulations being finalised by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government allow occupiers of holdings a period of time to put required facilities in place. This provision will apply equally to participants in REPS.