Air quality in Dutch cities could halt construction

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Economic development in the main four cities of the Western conurbation of the Netherlands, known as the Randstad, may come to a standstill if the government fails to take action to improve air quality.

This warning is contained in an urgent letter to Deputy Transport and Environment Minister Joop Atsma by the Association of Dutch Municipalities VNG on behalf of the main four cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.

Air quality in the country’s western conurbation often fails to meet current European standards. Under the EU rules, sub-standard air quality automatically leads to rejection of applications for new construction activity. The present collaboration between the government, the provinces and local councils in the National Air Quality Cooperation Programme has so far failed to deliver the desired results.

The main cities have to comply with the new European standards for nitrogen dioxide levels by 1 January 2015, but the VNG says there are more problems to be solved than initially thought.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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