As already mentioned in the Introduction to this Chapter, zoning features in the more recent legislation on water pollution control as the prime mechanism to curb pollution from "non-point" sources - notably, the runoff of cropland on which fertilizers and pesticides have been applied. Control of land use in general and, in particular, control of agricultural practices features prominently in the more recent legislation enacted in response, in particular, to the threat posed to high-quality groundwater reserves by agricultural runoff. The subsidiary legislation presented below has been enacted with a view to curbing pollution of water resulting in particular from the runoff of agricultural land on which nitrogen-rich fertilizer is employed, and it spells out monitoring and action programme requirements.
UNITED KINGDOM - Protection of Water Against Agricultural Nitrate Pollution (England and Wales) Regulations, 1996 (2002)
3. Nitrate vulnerable zones
(1) In these Regulations, "nitrate vulnerable zone" means any of the areas referred to in Schedule 1 ..., being all known areas of land in England and Wales which drain into and contribute to pollution of the waters which the relevant Minister has identified, in accordance with the criteria set out in Schedule 2, as waters affected by pollution and waters which could be affected by pollution if action pursuant to regulation 6 were not taken.
(2) The relevant Minister shall, by 19th December 2005 and at least every four years thereafter, review and if necessary revise or add to the designation of nitrate vulnerable zones to take into account changes and factors unforeseen at the time of the previous designation.
(1) For the purpose of the designation and revision of designations of nitrate vulnerable zones, the Agency:
(2) Where the nitrate concentration in all previous samples taken in pursuance of the Directive at any sampling station has been below 25 mg/l and no new factor likely to increase the nitrate content has appeared, paragraph (1)(a) above shall have effect in relation to that sampling station as if the reference to 1997 and the reference to four years were references to 2001 and eight years respectively.
(3) Monitoring under this regulation shall be carried out using the reference methods of measurement set out in Schedule 3.
6. Action programmes
(1) The relevant Minister shall, for the purpose of achieving the Objectives, by regulations under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972, make provision establishing action programmes in respect of nitrate vulnerable zones.
(2) An action programme may relate to more than one nitrate vulnerable zone, and different action programmes may be established in respect of different nitrate vulnerable zones or parts of zones.
(3) An action programme in respect of a nitrate vulnerable zone shall be established:
(4) An action programme shall be implemented:
(5) The relevant Minister shall draw up and implement suitable monitoring programmes to assess the effectiveness of action programmes.
(6) The relevant Minister shall, at least every four years, review and if necessary revise the action programmes, including any additional measures taken pursuant to regulation 7(2).
7. Contents of action programmes
(1) An action programme shall include:
(2) Action programmes shall also contain such additional requirements, restrictions and prohibitions as the relevant Minister considers necessary if, at the outset or in the light of experience gained in implementing the programmes, it becomes apparent to him that the provisions referred to in paragraph (1) above will not be sufficient for achieving the Objectives.
(3) In determining the provisions of an action programme, the relevant Minister shall take into account:
(4) In selecting the additional provisions referred to in paragraph (2) above, the relevant Minister shall take into account the effectiveness and cost of such provisions relative to other possible preventive provisions.
Schedule 2 - Criteria for identifying waters referred to in Regulation 3(1)
1. Waters referred to in regulation 3(1) shall be identified making use, inter alia, of the following criteria:
2. In applying these criteria, the relevant Minister shall also take account of:
Schedule 3 - Reference methods of measurement (Regulation 4)
Nitrogen compounds shall be measured using the method described in Commission Directive 77/535/EEC of 22nd June 1977 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to methods of sampling and analysis for fertilisers (a), as amended by Directive 89/519/EEC.
Freshwaters, coastal waters and marine waters
Nitrate concentration shall be measured in accordance with Article 4a(3) of Council Decision 77/795/EEC of 12th December 1977 establishing a common procedure for the exchange of information on the quality of surface fresh water in the Community, as amended by Decision 86/574/EEC.
Schedule 4 - Provisions to be included in action programmes (Regulation 7)
1. The provisions of an action programme shall include rules relating to -
(1) periods when the land application of certain types of fertiliser is prohibited;
(2) the capacity of storage vessels for livestock manure; this capacity must exceed that required for storage throughout the longest period during which land application in the nitrate vulnerable zone is prohibited, except where it can be demonstrated to the authority designated for the purpose in the regulations establishing the programme that any quantity of manure in excess of the actual storage capacity will be disposed of in a manner which will not cause harm to the environment;
(3) limitation of the land application of fertilisers, consistent with good agricultural practice and taking into account the characteristics of the nitrate vulnerable zone concerned, in particular -
2. These provisions shall ensure that, for each farm or livestock unit, the amount of livestock manure applied to the land each year, including by the animals themselves, shall not exceed a specified amount per hectare.
The specified amount per hectare shall be the amount of manure containing 170 kg N. However:
3. The amounts referred to in paragraph 2 above may be calculated on the basis of animal numbers.