Monday, August 22, 2022

Fishing Association, Environmental Groups Appeal Fish Farm EIR Certification

Posted By on Mon, Aug 22, 2022 at 4:05 PM

click to enlarge An artist rendering of Nordic Aquafarm's proposed farm, which would raise Atlantic salmon on the Samoa Peninsula. - SUBMITTED
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  • An artist rendering of Nordic Aquafarm's proposed farm, which would raise Atlantic salmon on the Samoa Peninsula.
The Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association, the Redwood Region Audubon Society and 350 Humboldt have appealed the Humboldt County Planning Commission's recent approval of an environmental review of a large fish farm on the Samoa Peninsula to the Board of Supervisors.

In an Aug. 17 letter , the three agencies listed numerous issues with the review of Nordic Aquafarms' development proposal that they believe violate the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The alleged issues raised include:

— Under-calculating greenhouse gas emissions. There are numerous sources of such emissions in the project, including the manufacture of fish food, refrigerants used to cool the facility, the truck travel generated by the project and the amount of fossil-fuel powered electricity that will be used.

— The effects of the project on local salmonid fisheries, including potential exposure of fish populations to disease and the likelihood of increasing domoic acid in Humboldt Bay.

— That required scientific studies were not completed before the report was done.

— The allegation that the project was improperly piece-mealed: that is broken into three separate projects instead of being considered as a whole.

The letter-writers state that the EIR should have considered other alternatives, including a smaller project, or creating the project one module at a time, so that any problems could be worked out before going onward.

In a statement issued after the appeal was filed, Nordic said the appeal "provides an avenue to continue dialogue."

"We believe the certified Environmental Impact Report to be a comprehensive and robust document," the company said, adding that the project would clean up the contaminated old pulp mill site and, once operational, provide farmed Atlantic salmon to domestic markets — replacing fish that is currently farmed overseas and imported.

If the supervisors certify the FEIR, the challenging organizations have about 30 days to challenge the decision in court. No date has yet been set for the board to hear the appeal.

See past coverage of the proposed project and its environmental review here and find a press release announcing the appeal below.

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