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COUNTRY REPORTTHE NETHERLANDS


no longer use the Nitrogen Approach Programme (PAS) as a basis for permission for activities. As the government explained: “PAS... is a


system that on the one hand offers space for activities that cause nitrogen, such as permits for livestock farms or road construction. On the other hand, the PAS also contains measures to reduce the adverse effects of nitrogen on nature reserves. The PAS therefore anticipates the future positive consequences of measures for protected nature areas and thereby gives ‘prior’ permission to new activities.”


Court ruling However, the European Court of Justice ruled that PAS was in breach of the European Habitats Directive, and that the positive effects of the measures included in the PAS programme must be established in advance. Only then can the government authorise a new activity. Because the PAS does not meet this condition, it cannot be used as a basis for consent for new activities. “This is a huge problem for which no easy


solution exists,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. “We do not have it under control yet.” The government said it is open to all


On his Facebook account, Rutte said the


new speed limit was a “rotten measure” but added that it was necessary in order to protect jobs and builders.


Farmer outrage One MP suggested that livestock production should be halved – to 6 million fewer pigs and 50 million fewer chickens – prompting a furious reaction from farmers, with thousands of them driving tractors to The Hague in protest. The Dutch government has also


This new ruling could potentially have a big impact on the projects that our customers run here. And it applies to everything – even


wind farms or railway projects. – Paul van Vuren, Mammoet


suggestions about ways to meet lower nitrogen targets and has proposed lowering the daytime speed limit on motorways to just 100 km/h (62 mph) from the current 130 km/h (80 mph).


established a new climate change agreement which aims to reduce CO2


emissions in the


country by 49 percent by 2030 compared with 1990. So, where does all this leave the transport


industry – especially those companies involved in heavy lift projects around the country? Paul van Vuren, Mammoet’s managing


director Netherlands, is in no doubt that the ruling related to nitrogen emissions will have some effect on the company’s business in the country this year. “There is a general feeling in the


Netherlands, as in the rest of the world, that we cannot continue to pollute in the way we


Mammoet uses cleaner-burning Shell gas-to-liquids fuel to power all its cranes and trucks in the Netherlands.


www.heavyliftpfi.com January/February 2020 127


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