Tuesday 19 November 2019

Dairy cows and motorists at centre of nitrogen-pollution efforts: media

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The government wants farmers to give their livestock feed containing an enzyme which reduces the amount of nitrogen in manure as one way of reducing nitrogen-based pollution, broadcaster NOS said on Thursday.

Sources have told the broadcaster that the introduction of the enzyme, developed by Dutch chemicals giant DSM, is one of the measures which ministers plan to take which would allow some construction work to resume.

Thousands of construction projects have been halted since the Council of State ruled that not enough is being done to combat nitrogen-based pollution, particularly in the form of nitrous oxide and ammonia.

Giving the enzyme to dairy cows would reduce nitrogen emissions in the dairy industry by some 10%, experts told the broadcaster. The dairy industry is the main source of nitrogen-based pollution in the Netherlands.

DSM says the enzyme does not affect milk production or taste but will add to the cost of the feed. The government is prepared to pick up the extra costs, if the measure proves effective, NOS said.

According to the AD, the government also plans to move quickly to cut the speed limit on main roads, which will reduce nitrous oxide emissions.

By cutting nitrogen-based emissions generated by traffic and dairy cows, ministers say the house-building programme can be resumed because overall pollution will not increase.

On Wednesday, the construction sector held a mass demonstration in The Hague calling on the government to take action.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 13 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
Donate via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.