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Brussels sets new deadline for Germany with Nitrates Directive

ISN reports that a new deadline of eight weeks has been set for Germany to increase the legal measures to reduce nitrate emissions into groundwater.

31 July 2019, at 11:30am

According to a report by Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (NOZ), the speed at which Germany is implementing the Nitrates Directive standards is lagging which has led to the EU Commission setting a two-month deadline for local German authorities to meet such requirements.

Specifically, the Commission is calling for "red areas" to be designated by all federal states in which the mass use of fertiliser will be restricted. If these requirements are not met, a second case against Germany would be initiated due to insufficient implementation of the Nitrates Directive.

ISN reports that as early as mid-June, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture (BMEL) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) had jointly submitted proposals for the protection of groundwater to the European Commission. However, as NOZ reports, the measures are too lenient for the EU Commission.

ISN responded to the news of the deadline with the following statement: The fact that the EU continues to exert pressure on Germany in the area of ​​nitrate and fertilisation is not unexpected. It is crucial that the German ministries pull together and work sensibly to work out the demands from Brussels together in accordance with technically meaningful criteria. It would be fatal if they now lose each other in blame and aggravate by panic reactions, the already happened situation even further. Because then the farmers are in the end the victims, who have to spoon out the soup.

Read the full article here.