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Country News - 2004

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Red tape threatens water clean-up

Thursday 09 September 2004

YORKSHIRE landowners and farmers are happy to help the Government's drive to reduce water pollution from farm run-offs - but are worried that if more red-tape is introduced, progress towards cleaner rivers will be slowed.

The Environment Agency recently identified the run-off of pesticides, artificial fertilisers and animal waste as the biggest single source of water pollution now that industrial effluent is now largely under control.

Defra is to introduce new measures to help farmers clean up their act and the Yorkshire branch of the Country Land and Business Association said yesterday that its members were happy to co-operate in the process.

But they fear that if more red-tape is introduced to force already-willing farmers to take part, progress will he held back.

"They talk of a supportive approach offering information, skills, grants and backing for voluntary action," says the CLA's Yorkshire regional director, Dorothy Fairburn.

"Our concern is the level of Government commitment to this approach rather than even more red tape, regulations and levies. We'll be holding them to their stated aim of introducing measures that will reduce diffuse pollution without adding unnecessary regulatory burdens."


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