Included in the strategy are outline timetables for opening discussions with the main industries that discharge nutrients. Key sectors are the water industry, the phosphate and soap and detergent industries, the food processing industry and the agricultural sector.
For the water industry, the agency says it will continue to decide whether to require nutrient reduction at sewage treatment works on a case-by-case basis. It argues against nutrient removal at all treatment works due to the environmental impact of increasing sludge production.
The potential for recycling phosphorus from sewage sludge and livestock wastes will be one of the agency's most important areas of discussion with the soap and detergent industry. It believes that implementation of the EU integrated pollution prevention and control directive should help to cut emissions from the food processing industry.
Reform of the EU's common agricultural policy "holds perhaps the greatest chance of ensuring widespread adoption of good practice" in agriculture, says the agency. It commits to further promoting an existing code of good practice and to consider the need for additional guidance for farmers.
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