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Nitrate Vulnerable Zones

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 22405, tabled on 21 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many contraventions of illegal storage of waste have been identified in nitrate vulnerable zones in each of the last four years.

Answered on

4 July 2022

Both the Environment Agency (Nitrate Regulations) and Rural Payments Agency (Cross Compliance) regulate within Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ).

The Environment Agency (EA) has found 309 instances of non-compliance with NVZ regulations since November 2019 of which 93 were related to organic manure storage record keeping offences and 205 related to storage capacity or infrastructure standards. The current database started in late 2019 and it is not possible to extract older data within a reasonable timeframe for this response.

The Rural Payments Agency have identified 92 contraventions of storage requirements in NVZs over the last four years. Examples of breaches include poultry manure and/or other types of solid manure not being stored in either a vessel, impermeable surface, in a wooded building or in a temporary field heap; and a temporary field heap was not solid enough to be stacked in a freestanding heap and/or was producing free drainage from within the stacked material.

Our focus is to work with and support farmers to meet their obligations. That is why Defra has made additional budget available from 2021 for the EA to recruit an additional 50 inspection officers, increasing their capacity to deliver advice-led enforcement.