IPPC Reprieve for Small Farmers Pleases NFU

UK - A significant victory has been claimed by the National Farmers Union (NFU) after the European Parliament agreed to scrap extensions to the Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) Directive, which could have severely affected small pig and poultry units.
calendar icon 8 July 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

It has been a long process – sustained lobbying by the NFU during trilogue saw a series of amendments won to proposed changes first muted by the European Commission in 2007.

The original proposals would have seen reduced thresholds for laying hens, ducks and turkeys, impacting on smaller family farms, as well as bringing in many more pig farms and horticulture businesses into the directive. They would have also extended the control of the IPPC into off-site manure spreading.

In a victory for commonsense, the frequency of inspections for installations posing the lowest risk has also been expanded to a maximum of three years which should mean significant savings on the ongoing cost of permits.

NFU chief environmental adviser Dr Diane Mitchell said: "I am both relieved and delighted that the vote to halt the amendments has been supported by MEPs and that commonsense has prevailed.

"The NFU remains convinced that the IPPC Directive is ill-suited to the agriculture sector, having been originally formulated to govern large power stations. We have remained totally focused to ensuring that the bureaucracy and cost of this burdensome directive was minimised for those who unfortunately fell under its control.

"However, there is a fly in the ointment with the review clause remaining in place; namely a review by the end of 2011 of the existing thresholds for poultry units and a separate review at the end of 2012 of the size of combustion plant which could impact on some horticulture businesses.

"We will not be taking our eye off the ball until this review is completed with a satisfactory outcome for British farmers and growers."

The second reading of the directive at the Council of Ministers, expected after the summer, will be the final step in the legislative process.

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