Written answers

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Water Quality

Photo of Matt CarthyMatt Carthy (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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87. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the remedy open to ensure compliance with environmental regulations relating to water quality in which a farmer is not in receipt of CAP payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59285/21]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) has overall responsibility for the implementation of the NEC Directive, which covers ammonia.

The NEC Directive is focused on overall emissions levels at a national level, it does not cater for farm level emissions, similar to our climate targets. The issue of whether a farmer is in receipt of CAP payments is not relevant in this instance.

In late 2019, my Department published a Code of Good Practice on ammonia emissions. Teagasc has also produced an ammonia marginal abatement cost curve (MACC). Taking these measures into account, DECC produce a National Air Pollution Control Programme, which sets out the practical measures farmers can take at farm level to reduce ammonia emissions.

Other legislation, such as the water quality legislation, include limits on chemical fertiliser at farm level with amendments proposed under the Nitrates review will mean that chemical fertiliser usage will likely decline over the coming years. This will have positive benefits for ammonia emissions also. In addition, many farmers will be mandated to use Low Emission Slurry Spreading techniques to apply their organic manures. 

This will also have a very positive impact in reducing on farm ammonia emissions. Any changes to the Water quality legislation (Nitrates regulations) will apply to all farmers,whether or nor they are in receipt of a CAP payment.


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