The European Commission has raised no objections to a Dutch tax bill, allowing for the unrestricted depreciation of capital goods in the field of environmental protection. The scheme had already been approved by the Commission in 1991. Under the bill, only investments in advanced environmental equipment whose use is not yet widespread in the Netherlands and which can make an important contribution to the improvement of the environment are allowed. The investments eligible to benefit from the tax allowance are set out by Ministerial Decree, consisting of a limited list of investments in a number of areas of environmental pollution control, namely water, soil and air pollution, waste and noise, and energy conservation. In accordance with the aim of stimulating environmental protection measures at the source, preference will be given to investment in equipment for process integrated measures ("clean" technology). About 3,500 firms benefited from the scheme in 1993, which corresponds to an average allowance of HFL 32,900 (ECU 15,200) per firm. The maximum gross aid intensity resulting from these benefits will be between 7% and 9%, depending on the depreciation method opted for by the company and the normal depreciation period for the company's asset.