Farmers who have not been granted a permit through no fault of their own are given ‘higher priority’ in the government’s nitrogen registration system. Minister Christianne van der Wal (Nature and Nitrogen, VVD) made this known in a letter to the House of Representatives. The so-called PAS reporters are given priority. ‘Finally’, says Sjaak van der Tak of agricultural organization LTO Netherlands. “People have been unjustly in trouble for four years. That does something to the farmyard.’
Minister Van der Wal writes to the House of Representatives that new agreements have been made about this in the cabinet. It is expected that more PAS notifications can be legalized from October.
According to the minister, the cabinet feels a ‘heavy responsibility’ to solve the problems of the PAS reporters. It concerns almost 2,500 cases.
This decision ‘is moving in the right direction’, says Van der Tak. The scheme gives farmers a choice, but Van der Tak still wants to know exactly what the scheme will look like. ‘You can take various measures, do something about your house to reduce nitrogen emissions.’ In addition, measures must be taken for farmers who have no successor to the farm. ‘The regulations must be drawn up so that farmers know which choices can be made.’
In addition to the PAS detectors, it has also been decided to reserve nitrogen space for the ‘most concrete housing projects for which a permit application is submitted within a year’, according to Van der Wal. Remaining nitrogen space is then available for road projects.
This concerns nitrogen space that is released through the remediation of pig farms. Initially, that space would go to housing projects and some major road projects. Remaining space would be for PAS detectors.
PAS reporters are also given priority in the case of nitrogen space that is released by buying out so-called peak loaders (companies whose nitrogen emissions cause a great deal of damage to vulnerable nature areas).