Dutch plan to cut nitrogen emissions gets EU green light

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch government plans to drastically cut emissions of nitrogen pollution have cleared a key hurdle. The European Union’s executive arm gave the green light Tuesday to farm buyout schemes worth nearly 1.5 billion euros ($1.65 billion). The Dutch plans to reduce nitrogen deposits — mainly from livestock farms — on areas of vulnerable nature have sparked heated debate and widespread protests by angry farmers in this small nation. A key part of the strategy involves buying up farms responsible for large-scale emissions of nitrogen. However, that required the European Commission to confirm it does not amount to state aid that is banned under EU rules.