Laois County Council, Environment Section routinely undertakes targeted farm inspections and river bank surveys within the County. The primary role of the Section in this regard is in relation to the protection of waters from potential pollution. Farms are usually targeted on the basis of a river catchment or the catchment to a public water supply scheme. In addition farm surveys may be carried out in response to a complaint alleging that agricultural pollution of waters is occurring.
From a legislative point of view, farm surveys are carried out to ensure compliance with:
- The EU Water Framework Directive- European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations, 2009 (Nitrates Regulations)
- Local Government (Water Pollution) Acts 1977 to 2007
Restrictions on Landspreading
Under the Nitrates Regulations, the period during which the application of fertilisers to land is prohibited in Co. Laois is the period from-
(a) 15 September and 12 January in the case of the application of chemical fertiliser
(b) 15 October to 12 January in the case of the application of organic fertiliser (other than farmyard manure)
(c) 1 November to 12 January in the case of application of farmyard manure.