The Ministry of Economic Affairs ignored signals and reports that there were many problems with Centrum Veilig Wonen (CVW) - the company responsible for reinforcing homes in Groningen against fracking earthquakes - for years. The then National Coordinator for Groningen Hans Alders warned the Ministry that the company was not complying with agreements, and that Groningen residents were the victims of this, in the summer of 2017.
In August last year, gas extraction company NAM threatened to stop extracting gas in Groningen prematurely if the liability for damages caused by gas extraction in the province is not shifted away from the company, RTV Noord reports based on a secret report on a meeting between NAM director Thijs Jurgens, officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, and representatives of the National Coordinator for Groningen.
The temporary committee for mining damage in Groningen, TCMG, paid out a total of over 80 million euros in damage claims to Groningen residents since March last year. Over 17 thousand damage claims haven't yet been processed, and more claims continue to come in. Last week the committee received 462 new damage claims, the TCMG announced, NOS reports.
A total of 127 damage reports were received after a fracking earthquake in Groningen on Sunday morning, the temporary committee that handles mining damage in Groningen TCMG said. Six of the reports were of acutely dangerous damage. According to the committee, it is difficult to say how much of the reported damage is the direct result of the earthquake, NOS reports.
The temporary committee for mining damage in Groningen TCMG received a total of 2,875 damage reports after a 3.4 magnitude earthquake at Westerwijtwerd in the municipality of Loppersumm last week, RTV Noord reports.
Most of the damage reports came from the municipality of Groningen, 1,323 in total. Stadskanaal is the only municipality in the province that had no damage reports. There were also dozens of reports from the province of Drenthe.
The Temporary Committee on Mining Damage in Groningen received 90 damage reports on Wednesday after a 3.4 magnitude earthquake hit the province near the village of Westerwijwerd early in the morning. There were also 12 reports of potentially acutely dangerous situations, NU.nl reports.
On Thursday opposition parties in parliament insisted that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs reverses his decision to postpone the reinforcement of 1,588 homes in the province of Groningen, NU.nl reports.
On Monday the claims desk specifically for handling damages caused by gas extraction in Groningen opened. The 30 employees of the claims desk is facing a major workload - around 12 thousand damage cases are waiting to be examined, because almost nothing has been done with them since March 31st last year, RTL Nieuws reports.
An independent committee will start by making an inventory and assessing the damage claims. The claims desk is part of a new damage protocol that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate presented on January 31st.
Dutch gas firm NAM will for the time being not pay profits to its two shareholders - Shell and ExxonMobil, Shell announced in a press release. NAM has 18 billion euros available to compensate for damaged caused by gas extraction related earthquakes in Groningen for the next five years, the Dutch gas firm also announced in a press release.
Almost all parties in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, demanded that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate come up with a protocol for handling earthquake damage caused by gas extraction in Groningen within two weeks. Wiebes will make haste on such a protocol, but can not give a time frame for when it will be ready, he said in a parliamentary debate on the matter on Tuesday, NOS reports.
The directors of Dutch oil and gas giant NAM may face up to 15 years in prison should the company end up being prosecuted for earthquake damage to houses in Groningen, according to well-known Dutch lawyer Gerard Spong. On Thursday the Arnhem-Leeuwarden court ordered the Public Prosecutor to start a criminal investigation against NAM over damages caused by earthquakes that resulted from years of gas extraction in the province.
The Public Prosecutor must investigate whether NAM was guilty of damaging housing, possibly creating life threatening situations, in the gas extraction area in Groningen, the Arnhem-Leeuwarden court ruled on Thursday, NOS reports.
The case was filed by the Groninger Bodem Beweging (GBB) an a number of individuals from the gas extraction area. The Groningen residents say they are dealing with, in some cases severe, damage to their homes caused by earthquakes that resulted from years of gas extraction.
Dutch petroleum company NAM has withdrawn from handling claims related to earthquake damage or any other problems caused by gas extraction in Groningen, RTV Noord reports based on sources within NAM. This follows a report the Dutch Safety Board published on Thursday which states that the Dutch government should be responsible for handling Groningen fracking damage claims, not NAM, NU.nl reports.
Seven farmers in the province of Groningen are filing a lawsuit against Dutch petroleum company NAM. They want more than 6 million euros in compensation for damage caused by gas drilling in the province, NOS reports.
Over the past months there have been numerous negotiations between NAM and the farmers, but to no avail, according to the broadcaster. NAM is only willing to compensate a percentage of the damage amount. One farmer was offered 40 thousand euros in compensation, while he claimed 1.3 million euros.
A massive 90 percent of the money available for settling earthquake damage in Groningen is spent on inspections, experts and reports. Only 10 percent goes to actually repairing the damage caused by fracking earthquakes, the Volkskrant reported on Friday based on the latest quarterly report by Hans Alders, the National Coordinator for Groningen.
The Dutch state is also "fully liable" for damage caused by gas extraction earthquakes in Groningen, the court in Assen ruled
At least 100 thousand Groningen residents live in a home damaged by earthquakes caused by gas extraction in the province. A quarter of them reported damage more than once, according to a study by the University of Groningen, public health service GGD and the municipality of Groningen
Scientists at TU Delft sharply criticized the conclusions of a study into the risk of earthquake damage to homes and buildings on the edge of the Groningen gas field. The scientists found that the number of buildings examined in the study was too small to make a general statement or draw a conclusion
The province of Groningen and 12 municipalities in the earthquake zone wants the government to cough up more money to deal with damages caused by gas-extraction earthquakes.
A new legislative amendment will shift the burden of proof on earthquake damage in Groningen from the residents to mining company NAM. This means that Groningen residents whose homes were damaged will soon no longer have to prove that the damage was caused by gas-extraction earthquakes, but NAM will have to prove that this is not the case.
Hans Alders, the National Coordinator Groningen, plans to appoint an arbitrator to have final say on contested earthquake damage claims on homes in the province. This arbitrator will work as a "traveling judge" that Groningen residents can call on if they are dissatisfied with the decision made on their claim after the inspection done by an expert and counter-expert.
Some 1,240 reports of damage following last week's earthquake in Hellum, Groningen were called in to the CVW, an organization set up to monitor safe living conditions in the region. The province has been plagued by an onslaught of tremors and earthquakes brought on by the extraction of natural gas there.
Lawyer Gerard Spong filed charges against gas company NAM on behalf of the Groninger Bodem Beweging and a number of individual residents. He is holding the company responsible for the deliberate destruction of houses and buildings in the province of Groningen.
The dust had settled in Kathmandu by Tuesday, three full days after the 7.9 magnitude earthquake shook Nepal’s capital and other regions on April 25. The aftershocks grew less frequent and less severe as the city’s inhabitants grew more accustomed to their sporadic presence. Still, waves of devastation had already rippled into every nook of the metropolis.