The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has warned Ireland’s nitrates derogation is now under threat because of poor water quality.

Nitrates derogation is part of the nitrates directive, which has been in place since 1991.

The nitrates directive aims to protect water quality from pollution by agricultural sources and to promote the use of good farming practice.

However, the latest EPA report, shows that approximately 269 waterways in Ireland, including rivers, coastal areas, canals, estuaries and lakes deteriorated in quality between 2015 and 2017.

The report points the figure of blame at human activity, and in particular, at the presence of nitrogen and phosphorus from farming which are used in artificial fertilizers.

Gerry Loftus of the INHFA says this latest report comes as no great surprise to the organisation who says this has been happening in the intensively farmed areas in particular over the last three years.

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