International review very positive about AERIUS

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

An international committee of scientists has concluded that the methods used in the Netherlands for calculating ammonia emissions, measuring ammonia concentrations in the air, and modelling the dispersion and deposition are scientifically sound. The reviewers are of the opinion that the knowledge tool set used in the Netherlands across the chain of knowledge that underlies policy on ammonia is well founded. They congratulate the Netherlands on the development of AERIUS.

The review was conducted at the request of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, following parliamentary questions around the ammonia policy dossier. When the results were presented to the House of Representatives, State Secretary Dijksma said she was in particular happy with the positive opinion on AERIUS. It supports the Integrated Approach to Nitrogen, according to Dijksma.

‘Dutch dispersion and deposition modelling can be considered as well fitted for assessment of regional spatial patterns. In particular, the Netherlands is to be congratulated for its recent development of the AERIUS tool to support future local decision making.’

The committee also made a number of recommendations to improve the analysis of the long-term trends in emissions and concentrations. One of these recommendations concerns an improvement to the dispersion model, by looking at the impact of chemical reactions of ammonia with sulfur and nitrogen oxides, variations in weather conditions and climate change. If the recommendations could all be addressed, the committee said to be convinced that the Netherlands would be able to fully explain the so-called ammonia gap within three to five years.  

Ammonia policy important for both nature and public health

Finally, the review committee endorses the importance of ammonia policy. It is not only important for achieving nature objectives, but also for public health in relation to the issue of particulate matter.

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