Robert van Tillingen: Ulam’s statement “at the expense of the health of the local population”

Robert van Tillingen: Ulam’s statement “at the expense of the health of the local population”

Last weekend, a new environmental permit from Olam went into effect. For now, the Koog cocoa processor will emit as much as it launched last year (but less than what they say they “ deserve ”) and should have cut emissions dramatically within three years.

Objections were lodged against the permit, but they had no suspensive effect. One of the opponents is Robert van Tillingen, Ulam’s “neighbor”. He also lives on Stationsstraat and has lodged the following objection to the decision:

Objections to the environmental permit

  1. The plant and / or the Environment Agency has been in deficit in recent years by not testing the environmental permit against the standards in place at the time.
  2. Olam tries to maximize efficiency with a work method in which the environment is of secondary importance. The company employs people to achieve this while the Olam environment is made up of normal individuals, who do not have the knowledge, time and money to handle this the same way. There is an unbalanced playing field.
  3. With the proposed decision, the Environmental Service does not show that it is there for the sake of the environment, but the service is mainly looking at how the plant will operate under current legislation, even if it is to the detriment of the local people’s health. The April 15 Show is a striking example of this. It is part of the management culture that the current generation of politicians hates.
  4. The alleged reduction in licensed and actual emissions is a farce based on fictitious numbers from 1994. They are now being used to disguise the fact that the plant has been emitting a lot of ammonia for years.
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As a factory resident, I object to the intended permit based on the following arguments.

  • Olam has been awarded three years by the Environmental Service to comply with current national emissions standards. this is unacceptable. Olam must immediately comply with the national emissions standard. Even if this means that they can temporarily produce less quantities, until the necessary adjustments are made.

(If I’m driving 100 kilometers per hour and the matrix panel says I have to drive 70, that means I have to drive 70 kilometers immediately and can’t let go of the gas slowly until the counter shows 70. That’s the way. For everyone and therefore also for Olam.)

  • In environmental service arguments, it is wrongly assumed that the emissions authorized in 1994 were 58.5 kg / hr. However, it was not mentioned anywhere in the 1994 declaration. The same problem occurs with the Nature Permit project, which is run by your colleagues from another environmental service.

If both of you stick to this, then that means:

  1. The implementers deliberately allowed so much ammonia emissions in 1994 that local residents would be exposed to a serious health risk. It also means that enforcement agencies, including the environmental service, have failed to protect their residents. In this case, I blame you seriously.
  2. Or it means the manufacturer took advantage of well the fact that there were no numbers in the license at the time. Olam has delayed the application for a new permit for years. For years, the Environment Agency has let itself be fooled by a factory cleverly looking for loopholes in the law and neglecting its mission to enforce it because of this opposition.
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Both are correct. I’m sure of that. In both cases there is a close relationship between the environmental service and the plant. I am very curious about what that band looks like, which is why I also place a wob order.

WOB request

Pursuant to the Government Information (Public Access) Act, I request that you send me all correspondence related to environmental licenses from 1994, or at least from the moment the Environment Agency of the North Sea Canal Zone was responsible, until April. 2021.

De Orkaan also previously submitted a WOB request to the Environment Agency and the municipality of Zaanstad to find out the numbers behind the permit. The new emissions are based on Olam data from 1994. This would lead to the conclusion that Olam should be allowed to release at least 500 tons of ammonia per year (in 2019 this was 80 tons, in the preceding years it was about 60 tons ). Olam doesn’t want to advertise those numbers (they can stop that), so opponents (and the media) can’t verify if the phantom 500 tons is correct. Compared to 500, of course, 80 is less, but compared to 60 from 2017 and 2018, it is more. By 2024 at the latest, Olam should have taken measures to further reduce ammonia emissions, but that remains unclear. Olam can also appeal the permit, for example if they do not want to reduce emissions or do not want to reduce emissions as quickly. An appeal can also be submitted at a later stage to the court and the Council of State.

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Megan Vasquez

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