State suspends Nordic Aquafarms’ permits for Maine-based RAS

A rendering of the planned facility for Nordic Aquafarms in Belfast, Maine.

The U.S. state of Maine suspended two permits essential to Nordic Aquafarms’ planned salmon recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in Belfast, Maine, U.S.A.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection, in a decision announced on 21 June, suspended both the Site Location of Development Law and Natural Resources Protection Act Permit and its Air Emissions License for the facility, the Republican Journal reported.

The suspensions came after Nordic Aquafarms itself requested the Maine DEP suspend its permits as the company continues to face legal challenges. The company has faced a bevy of legal challenges since it first announced the project in 2018, including a recent loss in the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

That loss means the company no longer has rights to intertidal land it was planning to use to site its inflow and outflow pipes. However, there is currently an ongoing eminent domain case kicked off by the Belfast City Council that could give the company rights to the land.

The many legal wranglings led Nordic Aquafarms to ask the state to suspend its permits, which were issued in November 2020, to avoid the permits expiring.

“This pause will allow the courts to fully adjudicate the issues raised by project opponents without allowing the delay caused by the endless litigation to run the clock on the permits,” Nordic Aquafarms CEO Brenda Chandler said in a release. “Nordic remains committed to providing a locally grown, sustainably produced source of healthy protein in this community.”  

Image courtesy of Nordic Aquafarms


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