Difficulties in the Nitrates Directive Implementation in Romania

Mih?iescu Tania, R. Mih?iescu, Antonia Odagiu


The EU Nitrates Directive (Council Directive 91/676/EEC) forms an integrate part of the Water Framework Directive and is one of the key instruments in the protection of waters against agricultural pressures [6]. The Nitrates Directive aims to protect water quality across Europe by reducing water pollution caused or induced by nitrates from agricultural sources and by promoting the use of good agricultural practices. Implementation of this directive has proved to be a major challenge for Member States, demanding vast technical resources for the characterization and risk assessments and for developing and operating the associated monitoring programmes, in order to quantify the efficiency of the implemented measures. The 2010 EC's report on the implementation of the Nitrates Directive shows that the pressure from agriculture with respect to surface and groundwater nitrate pollution has decreased in many Member States, although still, agriculture contributes largely to nitrogen loads to surface and ground waters [7]. However, despite these encouraging trends, the report reveals a number of regions where nitrate levels, according to monitoring data, are worrying; one among them is also the southern part of Romania. Although major pollutant sources such as large intensive rearing of poultry and pig farms ceased or conformed to the IPPC directive, achievement of the Nitrates directive goals is still far away from realization due to livestock husbandry farms bad waste management and due to the lack of waste water treatment stations in rural settlements. Accomplishment of the nitrates directive demands has to be realized, in the case of Romania, by a concertated array of measures aimed at reducing pollution both at major and less important sources [9], [10].


water pollution, nitrates directive, good agricultural practices, Nitrate Vulnerable Zones

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