ABSTRACT

The government rejected proposals that grant aid should be linked to pollution control measures and that there should be a formal requirement for water authorities to be consulted over planning or grant aid applications for agricultural developments likely to cause water pollution. Indeed, it may be argued that it was necessary to construct the notion of a “farm pollution incident” – by turning isolated, individual cases into statistical events – to break out of the vicious circle of this “non-problem”. The publication of the compiled farm pollution incidents, when no breakdown of the incidents caused by other industries was published, also helped to focus attention on agriculture’s role in water pollution. Of course, the precise causes of farm pollution and practical solutions still remained to be decided. Seldom could a field of regulation have been so dramatically transformed, involving a new regulatory regime, novel instruments, new and reorganized agencies, and reshaped policy communities.