IFA Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman Harold Kingston said that the recently published EPA research report which looks at water quality in Ireland is outdated as it fails to take account of the significant investment undertaken by farmers in recent years and the additional regulations imposed on the sector.
Harold Kingston described the report as incomplete because it makes no mention of the €2.5bn that has been spent in upgrading storage facilities on farms from 2006-2008, or the development of more efficient and effective methods of nutrient management. “These will have a beneficial impact on the environment, yet the authors omitted these from their report. Instead, they recommend measures which have, in fact, already been implemented under the onerous requirements of the Nitrates Regulations.”
The Environment Chairman also pointed to the Land Improvement Regulations introduced two years ago, which oblige farmers to apply to the Department of Agriculture when they are undertaking a range of on-farm activities, including restructuring of their holding, land drainage works and intensification of land use. “These regulations are part of a robust package of measures which place stringent environmental obligations on farmers.”