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Nitrates: Pollution

Volume 471: debated on Tuesday 29 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the water industry on the use of anaerobic digesters on farms to reduce nitrate pollution. (182046)

My Department is committed to making the most of the potential of anaerobic digestion to contribute to our climate change and wider environmental objectives, including reducing nitrate pollution. A number of discussions have taken place with water stakeholders including companies.

We are encouraging and facilitating communication between interested parties in industry, regulators, government delivery bodies and non-governmental bodies about meeting these goals.

We will work with stakeholders, including the water industry, to develop and disseminate information on best practice and technology for the use of anaerobic digestion in a way that is both cost effective and beneficial to the environment, for example through DEFRA’s New Technologies Demonstrator Programme and through advice to farmers.

More information on anaerobic digestion and what action the Government are taking to support its uptake is available in the Anaerobic Digestion Working Paper, published alongside the UK Biomass Strategy and on the DEFRA website at: