IPPC Directive Vote a Mixed Bag

SCOTLAND - Scotland’s pig, poultry and glasshouse crops producers’ appeals were observed in part in yesterday's European Parliament vote on pollution prevention and control rules, but, despite best efforts by NFU Scotland and its UK and EU counterparts, other crucial amendments were lost.
calendar icon 11 March 2009
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NFU Scotland had briefed MEPs on the need for a proportionate approach to agriculture in the first reading vote on the ‘recast’ of the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive. The current IPPC Regulation was designed to govern large-scale industrial units, but unnecessarily swept up some agricultural units along the way.

At yesterday’s vote, MEPs rejected proposals to reduce the threshold for laying hen poultry units from 40,000 to 30,000 places but adopted thresholds for combustion plants, which could affect the Scottish glasshouse sector. The European Parliament also adopted a new Nitrogen excretion equivalent rate as well as superfluous provisions relating to manure spreading, which is already regulated by the Nitrates Directive and Codes of Good Agricultural Practice.

NFU Scotland’s Pigs, Poultry and Soft Fruit and Field Vegetable Policy Manager, Peter Loggie said, “Today’s vote saw unpopular proposals to reduce the threshold for qualifying poultry units from 40,000 to 30,000 rejected, however, many Scottish pig units and some glasshouse crops producers may be caught up by today’s amendments.

“The 1996 IPPC Directive already imposes a large burden on farmers who are regulated under it. This includes the cost of applying for permits and subsistence fees, which are fully passed on to the industry, in addition the costs of preparing an application can run to £20,000 and then there are ongoing compliance costs.

“Yet again, this leaves farmers having to comply with costly, unnecessary legislation while they try to compete with third country producers who are not subject to the same burden.

“UK farming unions, the UK and Scottish governments will now need to convince the European Council that the rules would damage agriculture with no benefit to the environment as producers are already covered by a web of legislation which already caters for much of the new IPPC proposals.”

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