$500M aquaculture plant nears finish line but lawsuit looms

October 4, 2020 GMT

BELFAST, Maine (AP) — A nearly three-year effort to build a land-based salmon facility in Belfast is nearing the finish line, unless a judge rules against the company in a dispute over ownership of the intertidal zone.

Nordic Aquafarms executives remain hopeful the company can soon move forward with its $500 million project.

In September, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection approved draft water, air and land permits for the project. The board is expected to issue the final permits after a comment period.

But two land-use lawsuits pending in Waldo County Superior and U.S. District courts based on a 1946 land-sale agreement is the last — and best — hope for opponents who want to stop the project, the Bangor Daily News reported.


At dispute is who owns the sliver of intertidal zone where Nordic wants to bury its intake and outfall pipes.

A judge’s ruling could force Nordic to find another path to the bay, thereby slowing or potentially stopping the project.

Marianne Naess, executive vice president of commercial for Nordic, said the company isn’t going to give in to opponents’ delay tactics.

“‘Delay till they go away,’” she said. “But we’re in it for the long run.”