Port of Rotterdam has joined six nature and environmental organisations and Deltalinqs, the interest group for the business sector in the port of Rotterdam, in a project aimed at cutting back the depositions of nitrogen compounds in the Rijnmond region and surroundings.
Over the coming nine months, the signatories will study the effectiveness of possible (extra) measures for limiting the deposition of nitrogen in nature areas. This study will investigate measures in industry, agriculture and horticulture and traffic (shipping in particular) as well as the sources which affect the nature areas the most. Parties will also examine the set-up of a regional nitrogen bank which can keep the results of measures. The studies will underlie the goals for reducing nitrogen depositions and making agreements about effective and feasible measures. The results will be registered and, following consultation, they will be put to use partly for new development and partly for deposition reduction in nature areas.
“This agreement targets nature objectives as well as the development of the port. The nitrogen bank enables us to keep track of the rate of reduction and how we can divide the deposition space which is freed up between nature and the business sector. It is a win-win approach,” said Ronald Paul, COO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
Industry and traffic contribute relatively little in total to the nitrogen depositions. The depositions from industry have already been cut back significantly thanks to new technology and stricter legislation. Road traffic has also developed further. Measures can still be applied, however, to shipping in particular.
Steven Lak, Deltalinqs chairman, said: “The business sector wants to do its part in limiting the environmental impact, but above all it wants to reduce the uncertainties about the issue of permits for new developments. We hope to achieve that with this integral approach. The objective is clear: bring the nitrogen depositions down in a way that is as cost-effective as possible, while allowing businesses to develop.”
The other six organisations involved in this project are Nature and Environmental Federation of South Holland, Natuurmonumenten, Stichting Duinbehoud, Zuid-Hollands Landschap, Staatsbosbeheer and Rotterdams Milieucentrum.