The Advisory Board on Nitrogen Problems advises Wednesday to lower the speed on highways and provincial roads. In this way, less nitrogen is emitted and now closed construction projects can be resumed.

According to the committee, slower driving means less nitrogen emissions. Traffic that runs at 100 kilometers per hour emits 14 percent less nitrogen than traffic that runs at 130 kilometers per hour. In addition, lower speeds lead to better flow, which in turn also results in less nitrogen emissions.

The committee also recommends remediation of farms with "relatively high emissions or outdated housing systems" in the vicinity of vulnerable nature areas.

The college, which is chaired by former minister Johan Remkes, was set up after the Council of State put an end to a method that was used in the Netherlands for years to compensate for nitrogen emissions.


Why does nitrogen cause so many problems in the Netherlands?

Thousands of construction projects are stalled by the Council of State ruling

Based on this method, the Nitrogen Approach Program (PAS), permits were granted for construction projects where nitrogen was released. These emissions had to be compensated at a later time, but the Council of State no longer allows that.

The ruling has implications for thousands of building projects throughout the country. Small projects, but also large projects such as the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort, Lelystad Airport and the widening of the A27 motorway at Utrecht.

The recommendations of the advisory committee are for the short term. In the summer of 2020, the committee will issue a recommendation on how to deal with nitrogen emissions in the long term.

See also: The damage caused by nitrogen: 'Nature becomes a fast food restaurant'