The French Ministry of Agriculture has made changes in the areas classified as "vulnerable areas" with respect to nitrates. 1,440 new municipalities have been added to the list of 18,400 municipalities, although 617 have been able to leave that list thanks to the efforts of the farmers and stockbreeders regarding the control of the contamination due to nitrogen.
These changes, according to Delphine Batho, the Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, and Stéphane Le Foll, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, are motivated because France is forced to obey the EU requisites in the context of the "nitrates". France was taken, by the Commission, to the European Justice Court due to the bad implementation of the Directive 91/676CEE, on the one hand due to a lack of delimitation of the vulnerable areas in which the water is contaminated or can become contaminated due to the nitrates coming from agricultural sources, and on the other hand to a lack of action programs applicable in these areas.
Beyond these legal questions, the efficacy of the fight against the water contamination due to nitrates is important in order to protect the environment and helps to the attainment of the goals established in the master plans and the water management plans.
Wednesday January 16, 2013/ Ministère de l'Agroalimentarire et de la Fôret/ France.