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Maine DEP suspends two Nordic Aquafarms’ licenses for the Belfast land-based fish farm

Courtesy Nordic Aquafarms
via Bangor Daily News

Maine's Department of Environmental Protection has suspended two of Nordic Aquafarms’ licenses for the land-based fish farm it wants to build in Belfast. Several pending court cases regarding eminent domain and conservation easements led to the state's decision.

One of the court challenges involves the City of Belfast's eminent domain seizure of the intertidal zone on which Nordic needs to lay its pipes to Penobscot Bay. In February the Maine Supreme Court ruled that private landowners own the property, with the Friends of Harriet L. Hartley holding the conservation easement that protects it from development. Andy Stevenson, of Friends of Harriet L. Hartley, said there is also another parcel within Nordic's property that is subject to restrictions.

"There is a parcel, this 12.5 acre parcel, inside their property that was gifted to the State of Maine by a private owner under the restriction that it never be built on and that it always be protected to ensure the safety and the value of the Little River Reservoir," Stevenson said.

That case is now before the Maine Superior Court in Waldo County. Nordic Aquafarms' spokesperson Jacki Cassida said the company asked for the license suspensions to allow the court to adjudicate the issues raised by project opponents, and to prevent the licenses from expiring.