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The Maine, U.S. Department of Environmental Protection suspended two permits essential to the installation of Nordic Aquafarms’ salmon aquaculture recirculation system (RAS) in Belfast.
Therefore, as of June 21, part of the licenses would have been suspended following the request made by the company itself in April of this year. By doing so, the company intends to buy time to allow the courts to make final decisions on the ownership issues raised by project opponents challenging the City of Belfast’s exercise of eminent domain.
Although this problem of Nordic Aquafarms has been present in different ways since the inception of its project.
A problem that has been developing for several years
In 2019 landowners and conservation groups filed suit to prevent Nordic Aquafarms from developing the intertidal zone. In that space, the company planned to install inlet and outlet pipelines for the aquaculture farm, which groups came out against. Despite this, the project obtained the necessary permits from state, local, and federal agencies in 2021. Nevertheless, the Maine Supreme Court in February 2023 rejected that earlier decision.
“This decision today by the law court is disappointing and we are evaluating all options, not least of which is the eminent domain action already taken by the City,” said Brenda Chandler, the CEO in a statement.
Following this, in April of this same year, Brenda Chandler said the company was “evaluating all options, including the eminent domain action already taken by the city.” According to Nordic Aquafarm’s statement at the time, the city had gained certain privileges. Among them, an appreciable public park that connects the upper and lower reservoir trail systems to the ocean, and the eminent domain action also provided other public economic benefits to the city and the Belfast water district.
With these facts and still significant uncertainty, they felt that the best way to proceed with the project was a pause to allow the courts to contemplate the whole situation, and now Nordic Aquafarms have it.
About Nordic Aquafarms
Nordic Aquafarms Inc., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nordic Aquafarms Group in Norway. It is a leading player in the international land-based seafood segment. With current production in Europe, the Group expanded its operations venturing into salmon in the U.S.
In the U.S., the company aims to develop two of the largest land-based seafood projects in the country. One in Belfast, Maine, and another in Samoa, California, located in Humboldt County.
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