New rules on waste disposal in soil protection code

A draft code of good agricultural practice for soil protection was issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) on 7 December.1 The code breaks new ground by introducing numerical guidelines to protect soil against contamination by waste which may affect several industries, but it falls short of tackling head-on the threats posed to long-term soil productivity by erosion and loss of organic matter.

The code will be the third and last in a series. The first, on water protection, was issued in 1991 (ENDS Report 198, pp 37-38). A second on air pollution was published this summer (ENDS Report 210, pp 31-32 ).

The three codes do not have an equal legal status. The water code was given statutory backing under

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