Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Rural Affairs, North Wales and Trefnydd
The Water Resources (Control of Agricultural Pollution) (Wales) Regulations 2021 seek to tackle the causes of water pollution from agricultural activities across Wales. The measures help to meet the delivery of a wide range of our international and domestic obligations and uphold the good reputation enjoyed by Welsh farming for high environmental and animal welfare standards.
We are committed to working with the farming community in the deployment of the regulations to improve water and air quality, taking an approach targeted at those activities known to cause pollution.
Phase 2 of the regulations came into force on 1 January 2023, with the exception of the annual 170kg/ha holding nitrogen limit for livestock manure.
We have consulted on a licensing scheme whereby any farm business can apply for a licence for a higher annual holding nitrogen limit of 250kg/ha subject to crop need and other legal considerations. We consulted on proposals for such a scheme to be operational until 2025.
We are extending the implementation date for the 170kg/ha annual limit from 30 April 2023 to 31 October 2023 in order to allow more time to consider the consultation responses and allow farmers time to prepare once the outcome is announced.
The Welsh Government remains committed through the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru to working with the farming community in the deployment of the regulations to improve water and air quality, taking an approach targeted at those activities known to cause pollution.