“Farmers in nature reserves got permission to expand wrongly”

"Farmers in nature reserves got permission to expand wrongly"

According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, hundreds of farmers in the vicinity of nature reserves have been wrongly granted permission to expand. Livestock were legally allowed to grow only if nitrogen emissions remained the same or decreased, but according to the newspaper, the equipment that was supposed to provide this did not meet the conditions and the calculation model created a “false certainty”.

The paper states that technical means that were supposed to lead to fewer emissions cannot deliver on their promises. The “air purifier” widely used to purify the air has been found to reduce ammonia emissions by only 59 percent, not the promised 85 percent. Separation of urine and feces also had lower efficiency.

In addition, RIVM worked with an algorithmic model that an advisory panel believed created a false sense of certainty, because it was not suitable for testing individual companies.

Judges revoke licenses

However, it turns out that hundreds of cultivators have obtained permission to expand from tour from the newspaper. In the past two and a half years, Friesland, Limburg and Gelderland have given permission about 350 times, and there have been about a dozen cases in Zeeland, Drenthe and North Holland.

The newspaper wrote that judges in Utrecht and Friesland had withdrawn permits several times due to suspicions. For example, one judge found that more research should be done to determine whether nitrogen emissions are actually declining.

The two counties have appealed the rulings and have not changed their procedures. “We are implementing the law as it is now,” Friesland said.

Although it is not known which companies led to more emissions, experts in the paper say it is certain to happen. “More animals simply means more nitrogen production. You can capture it, but that doesn’t always go well,” says Professor of Earth Surface Sciences Francesca de Vries.

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