nitrates pollution

EU Court of Justice against France for violation of the Nitrates Directive

Declares that, by not adopting the measures necessary to ensure the full and correct implementation of all the requirements imposed on it by Article 5(4) of Council Directive 91/676/EEC of 12 December 1991 concerning the protection of waters against pollution by nitrates from agricultural sources, read together with Annex II.A, points 1 to 3 and 5, Annex III.1, points 1 to 3, and Annex III.2, to that directive, the French Republic failed to fulfil its obligations under that directive, in so far as, in the national legislation adopted in order to ensure the implementation of that directive:

  • there is no provision for periods of prohibition on land application of type I fertilisers in respect of autumn-planted arable crops and grasslands planted for more than six months;
  • the period of prohibition on land application of type I fertilisers in respect of spring-planted arable crops is limited to the months of July and August;
  • the prohibition on land application of type II fertilisers in respect of autumn- planted arable crops is restricted to the period from 1 November to 15 January and the prohibition of land application of type III fertilisers for those crops is not extended after 15 January;
  • the period of prohibition on land application of type II fertilisers in respect of spring-planted arable crops is not extended after 15 January;
  • there is provision for a period of prohibition on land application of type II fertilisers in respect of grasslands planted for more than six months only from 15 November and the prohibition on land application of type III fertilisers in respect of those grasslands and in mountain areas is not extended until the end of February;
  • until 1 July 2016 it will still be possible for the calculation of storage capacities to take account of scheduled times for prohibition on land application which are not compatible with the requirements of the directive;
  • the field storage of solid straw manure is permitted for a period lasting ten months;
  • the national legislation does not ensure that farmers and the monitoring authorities are in a position to calculate correctly the quantity of nitrogen which may be applied to land in order to ensure balanced fertilisation;
  • as regards dairy cows, the nitrogen discharge values are established on the basis of a quantity of excreted nitrogen which does not take into account different levels of milk production and on the basis of a volatilisation coefficient of 30%;
  • as regards other cattle, the nitrogen discharge values are established on the basis of a volatilisation coefficient of 30%;
  • as regards pigs, nitrogen discharge values for solid manure are not established;
  • as regards poultry, the nitrogen discharge values are established on the basis of an incorrect volatilisation coefficient of 60%;
  • as regards sheep, the nitrogen discharge values are established on the basis of a volatilisation coefficient of 30%;
  • as regards goats, the nitrogen discharge values are established on the basis of a volatilisation coefficient of 30%;
  • as regards horses, the nitrogen discharge values are established on the basis of a volatilisation coefficient of 30%;
  • as regards rabbits, the nitrogen discharge values are established on the basis of a volatilisation coefficient of 60%;
  • the national legislation does not contain clear, precise and objective criteria, in accordance with the requirements of the principle of legal certainty, concerning the conditions for the land application of fertilisers on steeply sloping ground;
  • the land application of type I and III fertilisers on frozen ground; the land application of type I fertilisers on snow-covered ground; the land application of fertilisers on ground which is only superficially frozen as a result of a 24- hour cycle of freezing and thaw, and the land application on frozen ground of solid straw manure and composts of livestock manure are permitted.

Download (140904_judgment-nitrates-france.pdf, Unknown)

EU Court of Justice against France for violation of the Nitrates Directive
Was this article helpful?

Altri post di tuo interesse?

, ,