Welsh Liberal Democrat and Mid and West Wales Member of the Senedd, Jane Dodds MS has today spoken out about new measures for water pollution which will cause serious damage to our farming communities across Wales.
Jane’s vote in favour of the review means the government will need to look again at the legislation and ensure the concerns of farmers and communities are heard.
The review comes as Natural Resources Wales warned that the proposed new rules will have the perverse outcome of making water quality worse.
Jane Dodds MS said: “Everyone agrees that we must take urgent action to protect our natural environment, including tackling water pollution. We need a proportionate, sustainable and targeted approach to water pollution in Wales. But the proposed plans fail to do that.
“I have heard many farmers say that their cattle will have to go if these regulations are fully implemented. The consequences for our environment and rural economy will be catastrophic.
“There is an irresponsible spreading of slurry and poultry manure near watercourses and the gradual leaching of nitrate and phosphate into groundwater is a long-term problem. But there are other solutions, including ensuring Natural Resources Wales have the resources it needs to adequately police pollution incidents and prosecute offenders.
“The current plans amount to using a hammer to crack a nut. That’s why I welcome today's cross-party support calling for an urgent review of the planned Regulations so we can find a way forward.
"Nobody questions the importance of healthy waterways, clean air, and a thriving environment; that is just as important to people in our towns and cities as it is in our rural communities. But the approach must be proportionate and support must be put in place to enable farmers to adapt to new ways of working, including training and financial support.”