Belgium: Flemish Permit Dispute Council Barn Permit Rejection Denounces Flemish Nitrogen Emission Program Gap

  |   Attaché Report (GAIN)

On Thursday, February 25, 2021, the Flemish Council for Permit Disputes (RvVB) faulted the Flemish nitrogen emission control program (PAS in Dutch), rejecting a demand for a new poultry barn permit in the vicinity of a Habitat 2000 natural area. This administrative court ruled that this temporary Flemish PAS fails to shield natural areas protected by the 1992 Habitat Directive from excessive nitrogen depositions, most of which come from animal production. Two environmental NGOs introduced the legal complaints that led to this potentially far-reaching verdict. The Flemish government vows to expedite the approval of a final PAS, as Flemish politicians fear that this precedent could undermine major investment projects in nitrogen-emitting sectors beyond agriculture, such as industry, transportation, and construction, similar to what happened in The Netherlands after a comparable verdict in May 2019.

Belgium: Flemish Permit Dispute Council Barn Permit Rejection Denounces Flemish Nitrogen Emission Program Gap

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