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Belfast Planning Board Asked to Revoke Permits for Nordic Aquafarms

Environmental advocacy group Upstream Watch has filed a petition requesting the Belfast Codes Enforcement Officer and/or the Planning Board revoke or suspend the permits issued to Nordic Aquafarms for failure to demonstrate that CMP can supply enough electric power to run Nordic’s proposed facility.

The petition states that Nordic was required to make that demonstration to the Planning Board at the hearing as part of its application process. Planning Board Members asked Nordic repeatedly to show that CMP could provide enough power, Nordic never did. Instead of denying the permit for that failure, the Planning Board gave Nordic an entire year – to December 22, 2021 – to comply. Nordic still has not supplied the requested information.

“Nordic’s peak demand is still unknown, but they need a minimum of 28 MW of power. That is roughly enough power to serve Belfast, Northport, Lincolnville, Camden, Rockport and Rockland - exceeding existing CMP capacity,” states Upstream President Amy Grant. The petition shows that for CMP to supply the amount of power Nordic needs, CMP would have to rebuild “Section 80” of the power grid, a $63,000,000 expense that Nordic has not agreed to pay for. The rebuild has not been approved by the Public Utilities Commission.

Upstream asserts that Nordic did not comply with the power requirement in its application when it applied or during the unprecedented one-year grace period provided by the Planning Board.

Upstream’s petition also states that Nordic cannot meet that requirement, because sufficient power does not exist without PUC permitting, and the expensive and time-consuming reconstruction of Section 80, therefore Nordic’s permits should be revoked.

There has been no response from the Planning Board as of yet.  

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Call to Action!!

Central Maine Power (CMP) has asked the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for permission to expand its midcoast Section 80 power transmission capacity so it can accommodate the very big power needs of the environmentally destructive $500 million Nordic Aquafarms industrial fish farm that has been proposed for Belfast - and CMP wants ratepayers, not Nordic Aquafarms, to foot the $63 million bill. Even if the expansion is approved, Nordic Aquafarms would still use up essentially all of CMP's excess midcoast power, thus making it impossible for other, more modest businesses to start up or expand in the midcoast region. For these reasons we ask that you please post a comment on this proposal on the PUC's website, using the link below. If you are unable to post a comment using the link, please send your comment to: [email protected]. And please post your comment as soon as possible, as the PUC expects to render its decision by late March or early April. Thank you!

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                     Our Mission

• Support coastal land conservation now and for future generations

• Conserve and protect the waters of Belfast Bay and its watershed

• Promote Ecology/balance: the continued restoration of native flora and fauna to its ecosystem

• Collaborate with local citizen organizations working toward a common goal of environmental stewardship and ethical management of resources