BELFAST — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has given Nordic Aquafarms a permit to place its intake and outflow pipes in Belfast Bay, giving the company all of its state and federal permits, according to a press released issued by the company Aug. 9.

The Army Corps required Nordic to test the sediment along the proposed pipeline route for mercury and other contaminants before it issued the permit. The sample and analysis plan results concluded that there is no significant mercury in sediments along the proposed pipeline route, according to the final suitability determination signed by Army Corps staff and dated Jan. 26.

Some of the tests found mercury levels that were above the lowest possible detection limit, but below the Army Corps’ reporting limit, Project Manager Ed Cotter said in an email to The Republican Journal. There were other results above the reporting limit, but below the regulatory action guidelines. The Army Corps found that the mercury levels present in the sediment do not pose an environmental or health risk.

Opponents’ appeals of the state Board of Environmental Protection’s decision to permit the project still have not been considered, but the company feels confident the board’s decision will hold up in court. “We won every argument against local opponents and their misinformation in the permitting process. We look forward to moving ahead in short order,” Nordic President Eric Heim said in the press release.

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