Overijssel must revise 29 decisions (12/5), the judge decided in view of the nitrogen policy. The province based its decisions on research that showed ammonia forms when solid manure in the barn is mixed with urine. The separation of the two components leads to less ammonia formation. Farmers have invested heavily in these low-emission barns. Research has shown that injecting manure into the soil results in reduced ammonia emissions. The judge considers the province’s decisions “insufficiently reasoned”. What is it based on? The judge as implicit evaluator of research? The chaos surrounding the nitrogen dossier is served by concrete measurements of nitrogen emissions and deposition in nature, with associated limit values, to separate the good from the bad, regardless of the location of their companies. The world of research still has to develop operational measurement methods, for example using drones and satellites. And if the judge declares that “we cannot say with certainty that natural areas will not be affected”, he must keep in mind that absolute certainty does not exist in science.
A version of this article also appeared in the newspaper of May 14, 2022
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