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Consistently reduce nitrogen and phosphate pollution in German waters - fertiliser legislation requires comprehensive amendment

SN187095622_4060959247296512_6518992184506615432_n_395x263-equal.jpgAssociations and organisations of the "Nitrate Initiative" call on the new federal government to consistently implement the EU Nitrate Directive. This is prompted by the current negotiations between the federal government and the German states and the EU Commission to improve fertiliser legislation in view of the ongoing EU infringement proceedings on the EU Nitrates Directive. The signatories include BUND, BDEW, Deutsche Umwelthilfe, Deutscher Naturschutzring, Germanwatch, Greenpeace, Grüne Liga, Global Nature Fund, Verdi and WWF.

Specifically, the organisations involved are calling for a new designation of nitrate-polluted and eutrophic areas on the basis of concrete measured values, as the previous modelling is not EU-compliant. According to calculations available to the Nitrate Initiative, nitrate- and phosphate-polluted areas in the federal states have so far been artificially reduced by up to 50 percent and necessary protective measures have been suspended. In addition, fertilisation control is not possible due to the lack of specifications in the Material Flow Balance Ordinance. As a result, about 24 percent of groundwater bodies are still not in compliance.

The organisations of the Nitrate Initiative also advocate, in particular, a compulsory material flow balance for all farms, as well as the publication of manure imports and the presentation of a national catalogue of measures to curb manure tourism. In addition, they expect the measures to reduce nitrate and phosphate pollution to be included and published in the third management plans for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, as well as the definition of suitable water and environmentally compatible management measures for nitrate-polluted and eutrophic areas. "The Nitrates Directive must finally be implemented in such a way that the requirements of European law are met and agriculture has planning security. Of course, targeted support programmes and cooperative approaches should continue to play an important role in this context," the organisations said.

 The "Nitrate Initiative" is an alliance of associations and organisations. For several years it has been campaigning for an agricultural policy that protects the environment and water bodies. Of particular relevance is the implementation of the EU Nitrate Directive into national fertiliser legislation. The Nitrate Initiative includes: Aktion Agar - Landwende jetzt, BUND, BDEW, Deutsche Umwelthilfe, DNR - Deutscher Naturschutzring, Germanwatch, Greenpeace, Grüne Liga - Netzwerk ökologischer Bewegungen, Global Nature Fund, NABU, Verdi, WWF.

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