Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 12:22
Independent oversight key to Groningen gas recommendations
According to the Safety Board, independent supervision is very important in the decision making process for gas extraction in Groningen. This is one of the recommendations the Safety Board made in the critical report about gas extraction in the province. The Safety Board recommends that the supervisory roll of the State Supervision of Mines must be strengthened and more ministries should be involved in the gas decision. The province and the municipalities should also be structurally involved in the decision. Other recommendations include better communication between the parties involved in the gas extraction about the risks and dangers related with gas extraction. The involved parties must also recognize that they had been careless with the safety of Groningen residents in order to regain their confidence. The Cabinet will consider the recommendations made by the Safety Board. Minister Henk Kamp (Economic Affairs) will share the Cabinet's reaction on how exactly to implement these recommendations with the Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament) at the end of March, NU reports. Kamp already took the first step by expressing his regret that the safety of Groningen was largely ignored in the past decades when making decisions on gas extraction. Despite his apologies, and the insistence of the Tweede Kamer, Kamp is not prepared to decrease the gas extraction in Groningen right away. He is sticking to his original plan to give clarity on whether the gas extraction will be reduced further in July.