Catchment News

Public Consultation on Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, T.D., invites submissions, observations and comments on Ireland’s Draft Nitrates Action Programme.

The objective of this public consultation process is to invite stakeholders to feed into finalisation of measures for Ireland’s fifth Nitrates Action Programme. This follows an initial public consultation which was held in late 2020.

Why is a Public Consultation being launched?

Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme is given effect by European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 605 of 2017), as amended. The regulations contain specific measures to protect surface waters and groundwater from nutrient pollution arising from agricultural sources. In accordance with the Nitrates Directive these regulations are due to be reviewed this year. In addition there are a number of measures in the Draft Nitrates Action Programme that will be implemented outside the regulations.

How to get involved

The Department is inviting any interested parties to make submissions to help inform the legislative process.

To get involved, please email your observations or comments to by 20 September 2021 .

To assist you, relevant documents may be accessed by clicking on the link below. These include the consultation paper and links to related documents and legislation.

Learn more:

Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our water bodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters Programme.


Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,829 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives and measures for each.


Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures that will be implemented after public consultation and sign off by the Minister.