UK Progress on Reducing Nitrate Pollution


Terms of reference


1 Introduction, Nitrogen Pollution, Air and Water Quality and its Regulation


The Nitrogen Cycle

Nitrogen as a Pollutant

Sources of Nitrogen Pollution


The Regulatory Regime for Water Quality, Nitrates and Air Quality.

Water Quality and Nitrates

Air Quality

2 Water Quality

The Status of Water Bodies

Penalties for Polluting Water

Progress on Achieving Good Water Quality

How the UK Compares to the Rest of the EU on Water Quality

Drinking Water

Urban Waste Water

Bathing Water

The UK’s Nitrate “Time Bomb”

Performance on Reducing Nitrates

The Cost of Water Quality and Dealing with Nitrate pollution

Progress on reducing Phosphorous in Surface Waters

River Basin Management Plans and Collaborative Catchments

The Role of Water Companies in Water Catchment Management

Making More Progress on the Good Ecological Status of Water Bodies

3 Air Quality

Nitrogen as an Air Pollutant: Ammonia and Nitrogen Oxides

Sources of Ammonia, Nitrous Oxide and Nitrogen Oxides

Air Quality Regulation

Performance on Reducing Nitrogen Oxides and Ammonia Emissions

Nitrogen Oxides


The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Air Quality Report (2016)

The Government’s Clean Air Strategy

Reaction and Comment on the Clean Air Strategy

4 Agriculture and Nitrogen Pollution

The Nitrates Directive

Code of Good Agricultural Practice (COGAP) for Reducing Ammonia Emissions

The New Farming Rules for Water

Progress on Reducing the use of Artificial Nitrogen Fertiliser

Nitrogen and Phosphorous Surpluses in Soil

The Role of Anaerobic Digestion

Future Pressures on UK Agriculture and its implications for Water Pollution

5 Monitoring, Enforcement and Resourcing Issues

Monitoring Nitrate Pollution and Water Quality

Enforcement, Compliance and Resourcing Issues

6 Monitoring, Compliance and Enforcement after the UK Leaves the EU

EU Regulatory Transposition Issues

Holding the Government to Account for Environmental Outcomes

The 25 Year Environment Plan versus the Water Framework Directive

Health and Harmony and the Agriculture Bill

Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland: Regulatory Alignment

Conclusions and recommendations

Annex 1: Nitrogen Pollution: Sources and Impact

Annex 2: Water Quality Directives

Annex 3: Air Quality Directives

Formal minutes


Published written evidence

List of Reports from the Committee during the current Parliament

Published: 22 November 2018