An assessment from the European Union found nitrate levels in surface and groundwater were declining slightly because of management practices associated with the agricultural sector. Overall, however, the EU found nitrate pollution, which results in excessive plant growth and a subsequent depletion of oxygen levels in water, is still a problem.
Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said Friday he was pleased to see efforts to curb nitrate pollution were paying off.
"Nitrates put severe pressure on biodiversity, and on the waters and land underpinning our agriculture and economic activities," he said in a statement. "We need to step up efforts to achieve further significant reductions in nutrient releases."
Potocnik said 40 percent of the lakes in European member states had some level of nitrate pollution. He said crops designated for the biofuels industry was an area that may require further attention from European legislators.
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