The Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO) has presented an updated Royal Decree on nitrate contamination for hearing and public information. This measure is part of a package of actions to address diffuse pollution on which the Ministry is working. Outstanding amongst the different actions proposed is the drafting of a Royal Decree to update the 1996 Royal Decree which transposed the European Directive of December 12, 1991 on the protection of water against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources.
The presentation of the new draft Royal Decree took on Tuesday, March 9 in an online seminar featuring the participation of the Secretary of State for the Environment, Hugo Morán, and the Director General of Water, Teodoro Estrela. The online seminar marked the beginning of a hearing and public information period, which will continue until March 31.
The new document seeks to substantially update the Royal Decree of February 16, 1996, which transposes the aforementioned Directive of December 12, 1991 into Spanish law.
Amongst other objectives, these lines of action set the target of reducing pollution caused by excess nutrients by 50%, which will involve a 20% reduction in the use of fertilizers. To achieve these targets, European strategies propose the development of an action plan for nutrient management, which is particularly relevant in the case of Spain. In accordance with the environmental targets for water bodies set out in the Water Framework Directive, it is envisaged that these nitrate contamination targets must be achieved by the end of 2027.