Fixing the Wye Chicken Nitrates Nuetrality Problem – Adapting a Measure from the Minerals World

Finally Observer has caught on to this story (cough cough they were tipped off)

Guardian Group

New intensive poultry units – each housing at least 40,000 chickens – sprung up to meet the demand, and between 2013 and 2017 the number of birds in Herefordshire increased from 13 million to 18 million. [the highest concentration in the world]…

research by Lancaster University, which found chicken litter was the main source of manure causing phosphate pollution on the Wye. The findings were published last December, which identified poultry as the main source…

Helen Hamilton, a planning consultant who has worked with environmental groups, says she warned planning officials several years ago about the legal actions in Oklahoma. She said: “They sent us away with a flea in our ear. The River Wye is now possibly beyond redemption.”

It is now hoped stricter controls and new practices, supported by Cargill and other operators, will help reduce the Wye pollution. Some farms are installing biomass boilers to generate heat from chicken manure, while other farms are sending the poultry litter to anaerobic digestion plants.

There was a lot that went wrong here – excuses that their was development plan policy – err what about Solar Farms etc.

Not properly screening projects for EA and HRA, not when going through EA issuing reg 25 notices re water pollution from litter, poor awareness of The Reduction and Prevention of Agricultural Diffuse Pollution (England) Regulations 2018, so that mitigation measures for litter and slurry from other intensive farms are mitigated at source. Its a growing problems in many areas across the country.

But this has a familiar ring, think of all those wartime minerals permission permitteed without proper conditions – Renewal of Minerals Permissions (so called RIOMPS) where modern conditions and mitigation measures can be applied – without compensation in most cases.

Modern Anerobic Digestion Plans can convert raw slurry into Biogas and digestate that can be processed into fertliser – the latter being essentially nitrate capture – as long as you dont overload river catchments with nitrates elsewhere.

The problem with biogas is that although it is Green Hydrogen it is still hydrogen – so emits CO2 when burned. However it can displace fossil fuels where hydrogen is still required, such as HGVs and Heavy Industry, so Green Hydrogen has a role but it needs to be a planned one. In theory the CO2 absorbed when crops for livestook or humans directly or AD feedstock (as a source of power) will be the same as emitted futher down the process – usually in animal emmitted gases- in other words it nets to zero. The issue then becomes sensible land use planning of all sources of emissions and co-designing the nitrogen, Methane and carbon cycles. Does Libertarain Liz want to understand this? Does she want to speak too that socialist Welshman? But what is suggested here is a sensible approach, ROILFP – Renewal of Intensive livestock permissions – light tough planning solving problems in an integrated way at source rather than the emergency options of blaming the builders as usual; they have a small part to play but only because too much nitare in soils from fetilisers gets washed into wartercourses when sites are developed.

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