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Nitrate Vulnerable Zones

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects of simultaneous discharges of slurry in nitrate vulnerable zones at the end of the closed season; and if he will make a statement. (254070)

Stakeholders raised concerns in response to a consultation about the potential for a “national muck spreading day” either just before or just after the closed season. To address their concerns and to manage the risk of less attention being paid to ground conditions at a time when there is a higher risk of soil damage or run-off, a provision was included in the Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations 2008 which set a maximum application rate and minimum return period between the end of the closed season and the end of February. This is in addition to a number of other measures in the regulations which are aimed at reducing the risk of a national muck-spreading day occurring.