Minister ‘terrible’: RIVM gets it wrong again with list of biggest policy motives

Minister 'terrible': RIVM gets it wrong again with list of biggest policy motives

For the third time, an error occurred in the composition of the list of the hundred largest emitters. This is a list of the 100 largest ammonia emitters.

This list was shared with the House of Representatives in April in response to parliamentary questions from GroenLinks MP Laura Bromet. The result of the error was that pig and chicken farmers were mistakenly placed on the list of major polluters. Minister Christian van der Waal is “very disappointed and shocked by this,” she says through her spokesperson.

The fatal error is attributed to the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). In addition to the Top 100 list, the bug also affects other products that RIVM has offered since April of this year. The error is especially painful because it is not the first time that errors have occurred in the calculations. The Minister considers it necessary for an outside party to assess how it came to this.


I also missed this list in April. It has been farmers in particular who have recently implemented improvements to reduce emissions that have been wrongly listed. This emerged from inquiries about this site at both the Department of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). A VVD minister’s spokeswoman said at the time that she “regretted the error”.

VVD Minister is shocked. “As a minister, I should be able to rely on the information I receive from an independent scientific knowledge institute such as RIVM. This trust turns out to be unwarranted in this case.” She describes it as “very unfortunate” that “companies have been wrongly ranked as part of the top 100.” A source of ammonia emissions as a result.”

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The effect is still not clear

On the same day I addressed the Royal Institute of the Red Cross about the mistake that had been made, and the importance of due diligence. In her own words, she wrote to the House of Representatives, “I expressly request that an objective explanation be given as soon as possible to the cause and consequences of this error.” RIVM reports that it has begun an “internal investigation” into the errors committed and expects to be able to provide the exact impact later this month.

The institute itself states that “unfortunately” for RIVM “there are still errors in the Top 100 list”. RIVM “regrets the confusion this has created among agricultural companies.” Representatives are frustrated. ‘I’m totally desperate about this,’ CDA MP Dirk Boswick said. Requests the Minister for a technical briefing from the RIVM with an explanation.

GroenLinks Member of Parliament Laura Bromet hopes that the error will not lead to “an endless debate over the share of livestock farming in the nitrogen crisis”. “There is not a lot of nitrogen, but there is quite a lot. There are areas in the Netherlands like Peel and Veluwe where a large part of the livestock farming has to disappear. We have talked long enough now,” she urges. “Discussions about whether or not peak loads are a distraction from the urgent task.”

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