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December 4, 2020

Nordic Aquafarms receives three state permits for Belfast salmon operation

Courtesy / Nordic Aquafarms This rendering from 2019 shows the proposed site and layout for Nordic Aquafarms’ land-based aquaculture facility.

Nordic Aquafarms is closer to breaking ground in Belfast now that Maine's Board of Environmental Protection has awarded the company three critical permits for its planned land-based aquaculture facility. 

On Nov. 19, state regulators unanimously approved licenses or permits managing water discharge, air emissions, site location and pollution discharge elimination, the company said in a news release. 

The facility is expected to produce 30,000 metric tons of salmon upon completion.

Nordic Aquafarms has been going through the permit application process over the last 18 months.

 In 2018, the Belfast City Council approved a zoning ordinance change that allows Nordic Aquafarms to move forward on its $150 million Phase 1 project to build one of the world’s largest indoor salmon farms on a 54-acre site off U.S. Route 1.

“We want thank the BEP and the DEP [Department of Environmental Protection] staff for their effort in assessing the applications,” Erik Heim, president of Nordic Aquafarms Inc., said in the news release. “Nordic Aquafarms is comfortable with the permit conditions that have been included in the permits. Permitting RAS [recirculating aquaculture system] aquaculture facilities of this scale is uncharted territory in Maine and Nordic Aquafarms strongly believes that strict regulations and conditions will ensure that land-based aquaculture can be safely developed in Maine both now and in the future.

"The BEP has set a precedence that will ensure that the Maine seafood industry will continue to represent the highest quality in the market.”

The Board of Environmental Protection is a seven-member citizen board whose members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Legislature. It is chaired by Mark C. Draper, who is solid waste director for Aroostook Waste Solutions in Fort Fairfield.

Nordic Aquafarms said it expects city and federal permits to be resolved shortly. 

“We are looking forward to conclusions on the outstanding issues and are ready to move forward with construction as soon as we are comfortable with the way forward,” Marianne Naess, executive vice president for commercial operations at Nordic Aquafarms, said in the release.

Barry Costa-Pierce, a University of New England professor who testified in support of the Nordic Aquafarms application, said he’s followed the company’s application process from beginning to end, and noted that land-based recirculating aquaculture systems have been proposed for rural communities in other countries. 

“This is just the first step on a grand road for Maine to become a global leader in aquaculture,” he said. 

The company proposes to build a land-based salmon aquaculture facility near the lower reservoir of the Little River. 

Nordic Aquafarms’ corporate headquarters is in Fredrikstad, Denmark.

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December 7, 2020

Rumor has it that CMP can not handle the load NAF will put on it and so CMP will have to up grade its structure to accommodate. CMP customers will have to cover the cost of this upgrade. So we end up paying more due to NAF. Is this true?

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