The BEP (Board of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection) held deliberations on Nordic Aquafarms´ state permit applications on Wednesday May 20th. Nordic Aquafarms is very pleased with the BEP deliberations. DEP staff presented the different issues well, and Nordic commends the board for having valuable discussions while finishing the session in just one day.
“It has been a long journey and I want to thank our employees, the DEP staff and our advisors for their efforts in the permitting process” says Erik Heim, president of Nordic Aquafarms Inc. “We also want to thank the BEP for its thorough processing of the applications based on facts and science.
Nordic Aquafarms is satisfied with the permit conditions discussed during the deliberations. Nordic is also pleased to announce that it has improved the discharge technology further since submitting the MEPDES application in the fall of 2018 and is comfortable with the potential permit conditions that will be proposed by the DEP. Nordic has developed the highest ocean protection standards in the industry with higher nutrient removal and biosecurity measures than any other farm in operation today.
The majority of the residents of Belfast, as well as all the elected officials, have supported the project all along. Local supporters have formed support groups and gone to great lengths to provide accurate information based on science and facts to the community. Nordic Aquafarms wants to thank its supporters and the group “The Fish Are Okay” in particular for their support.
A few local opponent groups have tried to derail the process with claims of the applications being incomplete, by arguing the need for additional studies well beyond the required regulations and by frivolous lawsuits claiming that Nordic does not have a lawful access to the bay for its intake and discharge pipes. Their attempts to derail the BEP process have been unsuccessful.
The current situation with COVID-19 and disruptions in international supply chains shows the importance of producing high quality food close to the consumers and underscores the importance of this project both to Maine and the US, Heim says.
Nordic is now looking forward to the draft permits being issued and for other permits to come to a conclusion in the near future.
Permits that were deliberated:
- MEPDES – discharge permit
- SLODA – site law permit
- NRPA – natural resources permit
- Air Emissions – minor air emissions permit