Tuesday, December 7

Murcia numbers 202 disciplinary proceedings for breaching the Mar Menor Law

Irrigation will not be able to use nitrogen fertilizers in the area closest to the Mar Menor.

Irrigation will not be able to use nitrogen fertilizers in the area closest to the Mar Menor.

The Ministry of the Environment of the Region of Murcia has opened a total of 202 disciplinary proceedings against individuals or agricultural or livestock companies for failing to comply with the Mar Menor Recovery and Protection Law since it was approved last year. Of this total of infringement procedures, which have been initiated after carrying out more than 500 inspections of 10,400 hectares of Campo de Cartagena, a total of 85 are already in process. The counselor Antonio Luengo has indicated these figures to justify the surveillance that his department is carrying out in the watershed that slopes to the Mar Menor, where he wanted to make it clear that precision and sustainable agriculture is carried out in which filtration does not exist. of nitrates or phosphates to the quaternary aquifer in the area: “The exact amount of water and fertilizer is used.”

Luengo has appeared before the media after the meeting of the Governing Council in an extraordinary way to approve the decree law that modifies the regional regulation that protects the Mar Menor and prohibits the use of inorganic or synthetic nitrogen fertilizers in the area with the most influence on the lagoon and its aquifer, a rule that will affect 11,000 agricultural hectares. “Nitrogen input is limited in the most sensitive areas” of the basin, where “organic fertilizers or atmospheric nitrogen-fixing microorganisms” will be allowed. Failure to comply with this measure can lead to penalties of between 5,001 and 50,000 euros as they are considered serious.

The modification of the Mar Menor Law is argued due to the “high DANA” risk in the Region, an atmospheric episode that “may occur in the coming months and that it occurs more and more frequently, “says Luengo, which is why this measure is taken to” prevent the entry into the Mar Menor “of fertilizers and nitrogens transferred by runoff. The decree contemplates the reduction of deadlines in the processing of the disciplinary proceedings, in such a way that the phase of resolving and communicating the sanction to the inffractor “passes from six to three months” and from three to one month “to carry out in a subsidiary way the restitution of the land in the case of illegal irrigation. Given this example, Luengo points out that precautionary measures are not contemplated in the change of the rule since the powers to seal the hydrants are now in charge of the Segura Hydrographic Confederation, a matter that, recalls, Minister Teresa Ribera promised to address.

The counselor has requested prudence when transmitting any data on the state of the Mar Menor and the causes, since there may be “significant damage” to farmers and transfer a “very negative message in all markets “. The agricultural sector of Campo de Cartagena denounced yesterday that supermarket chains and operators had already begun to put obstacles to the arrival of products with origin ‘Murcia’. “It gives the feeling that in the Region there are only offenders.” Given this, he thanked the words of the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, who asked yesterday not to generalize regarding infractions in the field. Planas remarked that “all farmers and ranchers are doing a correct job.”

Regarding the measure of creating a green belt around the lagoon, as proposed by Minister Teresa Ribera, Luengo has called for urgent measures before medium or long-term actions to save the lagoon. He has announced that the regional government will again require the Coastal Demarcation to carry out the dredging of the Marchamalo gorge as an emergency action to oxygenate the lagoon.

State of the lagoon

The dead fish continued to appear in the morning of this Friday on the shores of the Mar Menor, although in a timely manner, as confirmed by the counselor. The cleaning brigades have advanced in the operation to remove these bodies, although the Cartagena City Council has not closed any of the beaches to the bathroom. Luengo has highlighted that in the monitoring of the lagoon, increases in chlorophyll levels have been detected in several areas that can end up perpetuating the eutrophication episode suffered by the ecosystem. For this, he has demanded the “immediate” cessation of nitrate discharges through the channels that flow into the lagoon, especially that of the Albuj√≥n Rambla.


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