EU ASKS ITALY ABOUT NITRATES DIRECTIVEITALY HAS 3 WEEKS TO ANSWER

agric strisceItaly risks to have a warning from European Union for suspending the Nitrates Directive. The country has three weeks to explain his reasons. According on what AGRICOLAE knows, the EU Commission sent Friday, January 18th, a warning to the Italian ambassador in Brussels and then will send it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is a preparatory act to the possible opening of an infringement. The European Union asks the Italian Government how they intend to ensure compliance with the Nitrates Directive. Italy has three weeks to answer

 

EU PILOT

 

 

 

Subject: Request for information in relation to application of EU legislation with regards to the Nitrates Directive in Italy

 

May I draw your attention to Council Directive 91/676/EEC of 12 December 1991 concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources, as amended by Regulation No 1882/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 September 2003 and by Regulation no. 1137/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2008, (hereinafter “the Nitrates Directive”). In light of the recently adopted developments in the Italian legislation with regards to law n° 221 of 17 December 2012 "di conversione in legge, con modificazioni, del decreto-legge 18 ottobre 2012, n. 178, recante ulteriori misure urgenti per la crescita del Paese (Decreto Sviluppo bis)" (published in the official Journal of 18 december 2012) a clarification on certain issues is necessary. You will find these issues in the Annex I to this letter. We would kindly invite your government to submit observations concerning all points raised and thus allow us to assess the situation in Italy in order to decide on appropriate further steps in the matter concerned. If your authorities agree that there are deficiencies in the application of the EU legislation concerned, the Commission services would welcome a commitment to make the necessary steps together with a timetable and indications of how the Commission services will be kept informed of the progress.

I would be grateful to receive your comments within 3 weeks of receipt of this letter.

 

 

Yours faithfully,

Michael HAMELL

 

ANNEX I

The recent law n° 221 of 17 December 2012 "di conversione in legge, con modificazioni, del decreto-legge 18 ottobre 2012, n. 178, recante ulteriori misure urgenti per la crescita del Paese (Decreto Sviluppo bis)" (published in the official Journal of 18 december 2012) foresees the following in its art. 36:

“(…) 7-ter. Entro novanta giorni dalla data di entrata in vigore della legge di conversione del presente decreto, le regioni e le province autonome di Trento e di Bolzano in conformità all’Accordo concernente l’applicazione della direttiva del Consiglio delle Comunità europee n. 91/676/CEE del 12 dicembre 1991 relativa alla protezione delle acque dall’inquinamento provocato da nitrati provenienti da fonti agricole, procedono all’aggiornamento delle zone vulnerabili da nitrati di origine agricola, anche sulla base dei criteri contenuti nel medesimo Accordo. Qualora le regioni e le province autonome, entro un anno dalla data di entrata in vigore della legge di conversione del presente decreto, non abbiano provveduto ai sensi del precedente periodo, il Governo esercita il potere sostitutivo secondo quanto previsto dall’articolo 8 della legge 5 giugno 2003, n. 131.

7-quater. Nelle more della attuazione del comma 7-ter, e comunque per un periodo non superiore a dodici mesi dalla data di entrata in vigore della legge di conversione del presente decreto, nelle zone vulnerabili di nitrati si applicano le disposizioni previste per le zone non vulnerabili.” With the above paragraph 7-ter, the Government requires the Regions to revise the NVZ designation within 90 days from the entry into force of the same law (i.e. 90 days from 19/12/2012) and inform them that if no revision is done within one year from the same date, the Government will exercise its power, replace the Regions and revise NVZs. Paragraph 7-quarter establishes that, pending the revision of the NVZ and for a maximum period of one year from the entry into force of the same law, the rules in force outside NVZs apply also within NVZs.

 

Please clarify the following issues:

1. Why has Italy not notified law 221/2012 to the Commission, as required by art. 12 of the Directive?

2. Is the Agreement of 5 May 2011 between the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry for Agriculture, the Regions of Piemonte, Lombardia, Emilia Romagna, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, mentioned in paragraph 7-ter, art. 36 of law 221/2012 been implemented? In particular, is the study on human pressures been carried out and which are it findings? Has the effectiveness of the action programmes been assessed and what are the findings of this assessment?

3. Is paragraph 7-quarter, art. 36 of law 221/2012, immediately applicable in the Italian NVZ? In other words, could you please confirm whether the rules in force outside NVZ apply also within NVZ as of the date of the entry into force of the new law (i.e. 19 December 2012).

4. What is the regime applicable after one year from the entry into force of the law; in case no revision is done within this period (by the Regions and by the Government)?

5. Is Ministerial Decree of 7 April 2006 concerning “Criteria and general technical standards for regulating the agricultural use in the regions of livestock manure pursuant to Article 38 of Legislative Decree No 152 of 11 May 1999” been transposed in all Italian Regions?

6. What are the rules applicable outside NVZ in all Regions where at least one NVZ area has been designated with regards to:

6.1. the maximum amount of livestock manure that can be applied to land;

6.2. periods during which mineral fertilizer and livestock manure application is prohibited;

6.3. storage of livestock manure;

6.4. the limitation of mineral fertilizers and livestock manure application to land;

6.5. the application of mineral fertilizer and livestock manure on steeply sloping grounds;

6.6. the application of mineral fertilizer and livestock manure on water saturated, flooded, frozen and snow covered grounds; and

6.7. the application of mineral fertilizer and livestock manure near water courses.

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-RIPRODUZIONE RISERVATA-

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