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Groundwater: Bundestag approves changes to the Fertilizer Act

Groundwater: Bundestag approves changes to the Fertilizer Act

The change in the law is intended to make it possible to check and evaluate the fertilization data of agricultural companies. The aim is to reduce the nitrate pollution of groundwater.

In order to reduce the nitrate pollution of groundwater, new rules for fertilization are being introduced for Germany’s farmers. The amendment to the law, which the Bundestag passed this evening, is intended to create the basis for checking and evaluating the fertilization data of agricultural companies. According to the traffic light coalition, farmers who can prove that they do not pollute water should benefit from this “monitoring” by being exempted from certain fertilization requirements, for example. However, after the Bundestag, the Bundesrat must also give its approval.

The background to the reform is the ongoing dispute with the EU Commission, which has been threatening Germany with fines for excessive nitrate levels in groundwater. While Julia Verlinden of the Greens spoke of a “milestone in sustainable agricultural policy”, CSU MP Max Straubinger complained about what he saw as an unnecessary “bureaucratic mess” for farmers.

The Association of Municipal Companies (VKU), whose members supply around 90 percent of Germany’s population with drinking water, welcomed the parliament’s decision. “Only with a significant reduction in nitrate inputs can we succeed in protecting our drinking water resources in the long term,” explained VKU Vice President Karsten Specht.

Source: Stern

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