Nitrates Action Programme Consultation ongoing

What Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme is

Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme is designed to prevent pollution of surface waters and ground water from agricultural sources and to protect and improve water quality. Ireland’s fourth NAP came into operation in 2017 and will be reviewed in 2021.

Each Member State’s NAP must include:

  • a limit on the amount of livestock manure applied to the land each year
  • set periods when land spreading is prohibited due to risk
  • set capacity levels for the storage of livestock manure

Member States are also required to review their NAP at least every four years. Ireland’s current Action Programme will be reviewed during 2021.

The European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations commonly referred to as the “Nitrates Regulations” or “GAP Regulations” give legal effect to Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme.  Local Authorities are responsible for enforcing the Nitrates Regulations. Any perceived breaches within their catchment should be brought to their immediate attention.


The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, T.D., invites submissions, observations and comments on the fourth review of Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme.

The objective of this public consultation process is to invite stakeholders to feed into the initial consultative process in relation to the review. A second consultation phase will be undertaken in 2021.

To assist you, relevant documents may be accessed by clicking on the link below titled ‘Documents’. These include the consultation paper and links to related documents and legislation. – Public Consultation on Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme (

Email your observations or comments to by Friday 15th January 2021

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