Ensuring good agricultural practices to protect waters against pollution from agricultural sources
The EU Nitrates Directive and the European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters ) Regulations (known as GAP Regulations) made there under also provide a statutory basis for ensuring good agricultural practices to protect waters against pollution from agricultural sources.
Under the Regulations all persons proposing to spread sewage sludge must first seek written acceptance for the suitability of spread lands by submitting a Nutrient Management Plan to the Council and all parties are advised to engage the services of an Agricultural Consultant with specific experience in the area of Sludge Management.
Such plans when submitted are then risk assessed by trained Council Officials and particularly in respect of the suitability of the lands for sludge application including soil type, soil quality, soil nutrient status, local topography, buffer zones , proximity to local rivers, streams lakes etc and the status of the groundwater.
Where approval is granted for the Nutrient Management Plans conditions are normally applied and include inter alia, adherence to buffer zones, the time period for spreading, notifications to local residents likely to be effected based on wind directions, and a requirement to notify Meath County Council in writing 5 days in advance of when delivery and spreading is due to take place.