Dutch GP reopens nitrogen emission investigation

Haarlem’s court ruled that three of five cases involving the licensing of Circuit Zandvoort in the Dutch Grand Prix must be reopened. But the problem is the potential nitrogen emissions from the race.

Circuit Zandvoort was the subject of several lawsuits in the lead-up to the first Grand Prix of the Netherlands in 1985. The course is in an area protected by Natura 2000. Environmental groups were concerned that the arrival Formula 1 would lead to an increase in nitrogen emissions of 15%. Research by Circuit Zandvoort and the province showed that the Grand Prix would reduce the nitrogen emissions. There was no racing during the renovations of the track. This also applies to any build-up prior to the race.

Recently, there were five cases against this circuit. Three of these were related to nitrogen emissions. The investigations into these cases had been completed and the Haarlem court was set to rule on August 12. This would have been well before the F1 weekend at Zandvoort. The royal class will be visiting the coastal town between 3 and 5. September. It has been determined that further research into nitrogen emissions is necessary. These three cases are being reopened.

The court designated the Administrative Jurisdiction Advisory Board to be the investigating body. The board has three months to present their findings. It is possible that the investigation won’t be completed before the Dutch Grand Prix in 2021. The race, however, seems to be able continue in September because the province has granted the permits. The Dutch GP’s next editions may be affected by the earlier ruling.

Circuit Zandvoort is also being sued in two other cases. These lawsuits concern the waiver for the ban on disrupting the protected natterjacktoad and sandlizard. These cases were not reopened by the court, so the provisional ruling remains in effect until August 12. A decision in the three nitrogen cases will be made only at a later stage.


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