March 12 deadline

Based on feedback, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources extends Nordic salmon farm comment period

Tue, 03/03/2020 - 9:15pm

Attachments

The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) intends to provide the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) with an assessment of the potential impacts of a project proposed in connection with a pending Natural Resource Protection Act permit application filed by Nordic Aquafarms Inc. of Belfast.

Nordic is proposing to develop a land based recirculating aquaculture system to raise Atlantic salmon in Belfast.

DMR is accepting comments solely about the potential impacts of the proposed dredging operation on fishing in the area to be dredged and on impacts to the fishing industry of the proposed route to transport dredge spoils to Mack Point in Searsport where material will be offloaded and transported to an approved upland disposal site.

This facility will require the construction of intake and discharge pipes which will be buried across intertidal and shallow sub-tidal lands to a maximum depth of 10 feet with a minimum of 5 feet of cover. The cover material in the trench will be the excavated marine sediments suitable for backfill directly on the pipes, according to a news release from the DMR.

All excess material will be loaded onto trucks and disposed of at an upland facility, the release said. A total of approximately 30,000 cubic yards of material will be excavated over approximately 108,000 square feet (2.4 acres).

Approximately 20,000 cubic yards will be transported by barge to Mack Point, Searsport for disposal at an upland facility. \

The barge will make an estimated 110-130 trips along a 6.5-mile (5.5 nautical mile) haul route in a direct line from the Little River construction site to the Mack Point facility. All barge trips will be done during the daylight hours and take approximately 1.5 hours.

The barge will be anchored during bad weather and overnight. All construction work across the intertidal and subtidal will occur during a Nov 8th to April 8th work window as required by the Army Corps of Engineers Maine General Permit.

To aid in its assessment, the DMR held a hearing for the purpose of receiving public comment on the potential impacts of the proposed project on Monday, March 2, 2020.

Based on feedback received during the hearing, DMR has decided to extend the public comment period until 5 p.m., Thursday, March 12, 2020.

Written comment can be provided by mail to: Amanda Ellis, Department of Marine Resources, 21 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333; or by email to: dmr.rulemaking@maine.gov .

A chart of the haul route is attached to this notice.