Many growers will face an additional bill from 1 April. A temporary suspension or waiver of annual charges for groundwater authorisations in England and Wales is to be phased out from that date.
Groundwater authorisations are permits to allow disposal of various listed substances, including pesticides and herbicides used in horticulture, into or on to land.
Horticultural consultant John Adlam said: “Nurserymen in the UK have become increasingly careful in calculating the amount of pesticide used on their crops.” He explained that an area of a crop can be sprayed at under the specified rate for a chemical then, when the tank is washed out, the washings were sprayed on the area.
He said if there were any groundwater problems in an area then the authorisations gave the authorities a chance to see who and what was being sprayed.
The regulations were imposed to comply with a European directive on groundwater. The Environment Agency will inform authorised holders of the reintroduction of the charge. Bills will not be dispatched until July this year for the 2004/05 financial year.
A statement from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs said: “Authorisations granted on or before 31 March 2000 will have the annual charge applied from 1 April. Authorisations based on applications received on or after 1 April will have the annual charge applied from the date that the authorisation is granted.
“All other authorisations will receive the benefit of the current four-year waiver with annual charges re-instated on the fourth anniversary of the initial date of the first authorisation.”
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