The European Commission is referring France to the EU Court of Justice for failing to take measures to guarantee that water pollution by nitrates is addressed effectively. Although the Nitrates Directive has been in force since 1991, France has still not designated a number of zones that are vulnerable to nitrates pollution, and it has yet to adopt measures to effectively combat nitrates pollution in these zones.
Water quality data shows that some areas of France not currently designated are in fact vulnerable to pollution by nitrates. The Commission is therefore pressing for France to take action by designating more areas and designing appropriate plans to deal with the problem.
In addition, the legislation and action plans that have been adopted lack precision and have numerous shortcomings, including inadequate closed periods and insufficient limitations for manure and fertilizers application. The Commission sent a reasoned opinion to France on 26 October 2011 (see IP/11/1266), urging swift action to redress the situation, and France has agreed to amend its legislation, but slow progress and insufficient proposed changes have led the Commission to refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.
Monday February 27, 2012/ European Commission/ European Union.