Monday, December 20, 2021

Aquafarm’s Full Draft Environmental Study Released for Review

Posted By on Mon, Dec 20, 2021 at 1:34 PM

click to enlarge An artistic rendering of what the fish farm will look like. - DRAFT EIR
  • Draft EIR
  • An artistic rendering of what the fish farm will look like.

In an unusual turn for a developer, Nordic Aquafarm subjected itself to a full environmental impact report in its bid to build a big fish farm on the Samoa Peninsula. The draft report, released today, supplanted a draft review in which the county determined the aquaculture plant wouldn’t negatively impact Humboldt’s environment.

The company’s new report also finds insignificant impacts on Humboldt Bay’s water, geology and energy. It calls for actively mitigating impacts on surface water, groundwater, water intake, stormwater runoff, hazardous materials, soil erosion, habitat modification, air quality and increased population.

The full EIR was requested by environmental groups like Humboldt Baykeeper and 350 Humboldt, and the company announced it would go along with the more thorough investigation in May.

“The major outstanding issue as far as Baykeeper is concerned is the ocean discharge and the potential for nutrient pollution that could exacerbate toxic algae that produce domoic acid,” Baykeeper Director Jenifer Kalt said in an email. “There's also the impacts of the bay intakes, which were not included in the initial study.”

The plant would also be “a massive energy user, requiring something like 15 percent of the output of the PG&E power plant, although they are working on a power purchase agreement with Redwood Coast Energy Authority (at our insistence). They claim they'll install 3-5 MW solar system, but that's just a fraction of what they'll need,” Kalt added.

The Humboldt County Planning and Building Department is set to receive public comment until Feb. 18, 2022. Comments may be submitted to the department at 3015 H St., Eureka, CA 95501 or at [email protected]. Find the full draft report here.
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J.A. Savage

J.A. Savage

J.A. Savage is an environmental and economics journalist specializing in energy.

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