The government believes it has found a solution that can be used to resume granting permits for projects that have been stopped due to nitrogen emissions. This is a new calculation method for the emission of nitrogen in protected nature areas. The new calculation method will become available on Monday.
Part of the permits that are currently on the shelf will be approved in stages starting next week, Minister Carola Schouten (Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, LNV) writes to the House of Representatives on Friday.
Last May, the Council of State ruled that the method of nitrogen reduction, the Nitrogen Approach Program (PAS), is in violation of European rules when issuing permits. This means that eighteen thousand infrastructure, housing, agricultural and climate projects must be reviewed and assessed. Until that time everything is stopped.
But not all of these projects emit too much nitrogen, the government suspects. There was just no way to calculate exactly how much emissions it would involve. Now that a new calculation method is ready, a number of those projects can still be carried out.
To find out what should be done with projects that do not meet the emission standards, the cabinet is advised by a committee led by former minister Johan Remkes. That advice is expected in the week of 23 September.
Schouten said earlier that there are no simple solutions in this file. "We are faced with fundamental choices where everything is on the table," the minister said Friday.
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