Dutch gas giant NAM ordered to immediately compensate home depreciation in Groningen

Milieudefensie and Groningen residents dump fracking earthquake rubble in front of the Ministry of Economic Affairs in The Hague, 26 Oct 2017
Milieudefensie and Groningen residents dump fracking earthquake rubble in front of the Ministry of Economic Affairs in The Hague, 26 Oct 2017Photo: @milieudefensie / Twitter

Dutch oil and gas giant NAM must immediately compensate homeowners in the fracking earthquake zone in Groningen for the depreciation of their home, the court in Leeuwarden ruled on Tuesday. The company only wanted to pay compensation at the sale of the house, arguing that the level of depreciation is only then clear. But the court ruled that it is possible to estimate the value decline of a home without it being sold, NOS reports.

The ruling means that homeowners who have not sold their home can claim compensation for its depreciation. This ruling does is not about damage caused directly by earthquakes that resulted from gas extraction in the area, but about compensation for the decline in value of homes in the earthquake area.

According to organization Atlas voor Gemeenten, homes in the quake area dropped an average of 2.2 percent in value since 2012. In Loppersum, depreciation is as high as 8 percent. 

Foundation WAG, which represents 4 thousand homeowners in the earthquake area, is pleased with the court's ruling. "Now NAM must follow through. We want to discuss compensation with our lawyers and NAM as soon as possible. Four years after the summons it is about time", WAG chairman Lolke Weegenaar said to the broadcaster. 

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