Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 09:12
Further natural gas restrictions announced for Groningen
Minister Henk Kamp announced a package of additional measures that should further enhance the safety and quality of life in Groningen. These measures include a temporary reduction in gas extraction, a National Coordinator, simplified claims and broader compensation measures. "The inhabitants of Groningen have a right to a safe and livable environment. Government, provinces and municipalities join forces to overcome the problems that are being addressed in Groningen. With these measures, the appointment of a National Coordinator and limiting the gas extraction, the current problems will be solved faster and in future prevented as much as possible." Minister Kamp said in a press conference with the province of Groningen and Groningen municipalities. The government has restricted the gas extraction to 16.5 billion cubic meters until July 1st of this year. The government has asked the State Supervision of Mines to give further advice on how the safety impact of the government's decision (39.4 billion cubic meters in 2015) relates to a possible reduction of gas extraction to the level of supply security (35 billion cubic meters). The limit on gas extraction until July will make both decisions possible. Houses in Groningen will from now on be built earthquake resistant, and residents in the earthquake area can expect a compensation for the costs they incur to achieve this. There will also be a new fund that will help homeowners with deferred maintenance and complex claims will be solved better and faster. 11 thousand home inspections will be conducted to see whether and how homes should be strengthened. In addition, 50 million euros will be made available to strengthen public buildings in the city of Groningen. The government will appoint a National Coordinator Groningen to ensure that the large-scale operation to improve safety and quality of life in the are goes smoothly and quickly.