Nordic Aquafarms announced today that its state permit applications have been accepted as complete and ready for processing.

As well, Maine Department of Environmental Protection has determined that “With respect to the intertidal portion of the property proposed for use, the Department finds that the deeds and submissions, including NAF’s option to purchase an easement over the Eckrote property and the succession of deeds in the Eckrote chain of title, when considered in the context of the common law presumption of conveyance of the intertidal area along with an upland conveyance, constitute a sufficient showing of TRI for the department to process and take action on the pending applications.”

Opponents of the land-based salmon farm have objected to Nordic’s claims of title, right and interest in the Eckrote property and say the intertidal area was transferred with another nearby property. Upstream Watch, a group of neighbors and opponents, has secured a conservation easement on the intertidal area in question from Jeffrey Mabee and Judith Grace, who the group claims hold title to the property.

In a previous interview, Andrew Stevenson of Upstream Watch said the group is prepared to take any necessary steps to retain its conservation easement.

“We formed because we’re choosing to pursue the regulatory and legal routes,” Stevenson said last month. “Most others would not feel that’s their mission but we are comfortable with that.”

He said Upstream Watch is prepared to back up its conservation easement for the intertidal lands in court if needed.

“At this point, we have to be prepared to go to court,” Stevenson said.

The DEP, in a letter to Nordic Aquafarms dated June 13, states Nordic must maintain adequate title, right and interest throughout the application process.

“Accordingly, should a court adjudicate any property disputes or rights in a way that affects NAF’s interest in the proposed project lands while the applications are being processed, the department may revisit the issue of TRI and return the applications if appropriate,” the letter states.

Nordic Commercial Director Marianne Naess, in a press release, said, “We are looking forward to the project now being reviewed on its merits by the Board of Environmental Protection and the Planning Board in the city of Belfast. This is an important milestone for our project.

“ … Permitting may be more challenging in central locations," she said, "(but) the long-term benefits are significant. While there has been some opposition to the project, we are really encouraged by the strong support the project has received from the authorities, the city and the residents of Belfast.”

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