Tuesday, 16 November 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
280. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he has had a communication from the Minister for Agriculture in Northern Ireland in relation to the farm nutrient management scheme which was designed to provide financial assistance for the improvement of animal waste storage on farms in Northern Ireland (details supplied). [55701/21]
I have not received any correspondence from the Minister for Agriculture in Northern Ireland in relation to the Farm Nutrient Management Scheme.
In terms of protecting our water resources, primary responsibility for the monitoring, management, protection and improvement of water quality is assigned to local authorities under the Local Government (Water Pollution) Acts and related legislation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through its Office of Environmental Enforcement, exercises general supervision in relation to the performance of these functions by local authorities.
The River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021 sets out the actions that Ireland will take to improve water quality and achieve ‘good’ ecological status in water bodies (rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters) by 2027 and meet the objectives of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD).
Following BREXIT, retained EU law came into effect in the UK on 1 January 2021, preserving environmental standards in domestic UK legislation, and ensuring parity with EU standards at point of exit. With the Water Framework Directive transposed into UK law, the agencies in Northern Ireland are continuing with the implementation of their river basin management plans.
Currently, Ireland shares two river basin districts (RBD) with Northern Ireland. The Neagh Bann International RBD has 35 shared waterbodies. The North Western International RBD has 85 shared waterbodies. Substantial areas lie within cross-border river basins in Ireland, with waters in each jurisdiction flowing into or through the other jurisdiction.