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UK races to comply with nitrates directive

The UK environment ministry today proposed measures to bring England into compliance with the 1991 EU nitrates directive. It suggested designating either 80% or all of England as a nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ), noting that the latter would create "a level playing field" for farmers. The government has been under intense pressure since the European Commission announced a repeat legal action against the UK in October, complaining that it had too few NVZs despite being condemned in the European court of justice in 2000 (EED 30/10/01). See press release.

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