‘Top agricultural polluters keep the Netherlands locked up’

‘Top agricultural polluters keep the Netherlands locked up’
‘Top agricultural polluters keep the Netherlands locked up’

A very large part of the nitrogen precipitation in nature areas is caused by a handful of agricultural companies in and around protected nature areas. One of the highlights is a turkey farmer in the Veluwe. This causes more nitrogen precipitation in nature than Dutch motorists save on nitrogen by not driving faster than 100 kilometers per hour.

This emerges from calculations by the Investico Investico Platform. According to the platform, these are several dozen livestock farms that “are responsible for hundreds of times more nitrogen precipitation” than housing and road construction projects in the same region.

The data from 19,000 livestock farms was analyzed for the study.

Top pollutants

The differences between the farmers are great. For example, the outliers among farmers cause up to 61 times more nitrogen precipitation than an average farmer.

Only if the top agricultural polluters are closed can nature areas become healthy again, experts tell Investico. But the problem is that these companies have to volunteer for a buyout scheme.

Investico has asked a number of these farmers if they want to participate in a voluntary buy-back scheme, but they do not intend to. Some farmers don’t even know they are peak loaders. Provinces are reluctant to approach farmers, as this can cause “a feeling of involuntariness”. The cabinet does not feel an obligation either.

Resume housing construction

If the most polluting businesses disappear, thousands of homes under construction could be completed.

Last year, the Remkes committee advised closing the agricultural peak loaders. Remkes called this one of the first solutions to the nitrogen problem.

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