Standards for ammonia and odour emissions in livestock farming

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you own a livestock farms in the Netherlands? Strict rules apply to the emission of ammonia, odour, and particulate matter. Did you build a new, innovative livestock housing system that reduces particulate matter (fine particles) or odour emissions? You must have it approved.

Ammonia emission standards for livestock housing

You are only allowed to emit a limited amount of ammonia. Each livestock housing system has its own standard for ammonia and fine particles emissions. These standards are described in the Regulation on ammonia and livestock farming (Regeling ammoniak en veehouderij, Rav). You can find a Dutch-language description on InfoMil knowlede centre’s website.

The Low-emission livestock housing Decree (Besluit emissiearme huisvesting, in Dutch) determines the level of emissions permitted per animal species. Livestock housing for dairy cattle, calves, pigs, chickens, turkeys and ducks may not exceed these maximum emission standards.

In addition, there are also standards for the total ammonia emissions permitted per farm. These are specified in your All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects or in the general rules of the Activities Decree (Activiteitenbesluit). If you have a permit under the Nature Conservation Act (vergunning Natuurbeschermingswet), these standards may be specified in this permit as well.

Approval of livestock housing systems

If the livestock housing system you use is not included in the Rav-list, you have to request approval from the competent authority. In general this is the municipality. You can also apply for a lower emission factor if your livestock housing system reduces ammonia emissions. First you apply for a special emission factor. You then apply to your municipality (in Dutch) for a permit to use the housing system. Once you have received the permit you will get a provisional emission factor in annex 1 of the Rav. If you have measurements carried out and you send the results to RVO within 3 years, the emission factor will be included in the Rav.

Particulate matter emissions

In the Netherlands you need to keep to the rules on emission of particulate matter (PM), or fine particles. The emission factors for particulate matter for livestock farming are laid down in the Assessment of air quality regulation (Regeling beoordeling luchtkwaliteit, in Dutch).

Do you have a new, innovative housing system which is not yet included in the fine particles list (in Dutch)? You can check with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) which steps to take for approval if this housing system reduces the emission of particulate matter with at least 10% (in Dutch).

Rules on odour emission

Your livestock farm must also meet the rules on odour emissions. Which rules apply depends on the following:

  • the location of your business
  • the types and amounts of livestock you own
  • the type of livestock housing
  • the presence of a manure basin

You can find more information on the InfoMil knowledge centre’s website (in Dutch) or contact RWS Environment.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO