Letters, Dec. 12

Dec 12, 2019

What is there to hide?

The latest directive given to the Belfast Planning Board by city officials concerns me. Our hardworking and thoughtful BPB has been advised not to attend the Board of Environmental Protection hearings on the Nordic Aquafarms permit. These hearings will be in Belfast and are designed to gather and share information collected from scientists and experts invited into this process.

If a permit is to be provided, I think it should be a good one. To develop a permit you need to know what conditions might exist. I am concerned with the hurdles placed upon Upstream Watch to bring awareness to these conditions. This process is beginning to have all the markings of a large corporation working with proxy government support to take away yet another natural resource for short-term monetary gain.

Where does one start in permitting one of the largest proposed Concentrated Aquatic Animal Production (facilities) in the world? One place to start but that is ignored: “Why did NAF pick this site in the first place?”  NAF lacks a deep-water current to the ocean, groundwater availability is compromised on site and surface water is limited by failing dams, tens of thousands of truckloads of clay soils on site must be removed, it is a pristine greenfield rather than a brownfield site, the discharge pipe presents all sorts of issues, there is no exit restoration plan, the RAS technology is not proven at this scale, and there are a lot of smoky mirrors about financing the project.

It feels one-sided when the only science that some wish to listen to is that of the applicant. Name-calling includes “science denier” or “NIMBY." Why are we so quick to hide a full review of such a huge carbon footprint project? As examples, Upstream Watch has been asked to provide advance input to the Planning Board. The BPB deserves to have information submitted for their pre-review. Yet Upstream was not informed by city officials when the appropriate meetings will take place. City officials deny citizen-funded experts sufficient time (minutes counted with a stopwatch) to report their findings, while the applicant has hours.

If there is fear we might learn something new about a project apparently already given the secret “green light,” then we should admit this rather than attacking those who wish to learn more.

John Krueger



If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at waldo.villagesoup.com/join.
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at waldo.villagesoup.com/donate.
Comments (3)
Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Dec 19, 2019 19:16

I asked for a reason Ms. Saggese. A legal reason. I don't have a clue where you found paranoia in the question that I asked. You have a habit of making things up. Where did you come up with the idea of vetting this project as you describe? The Planning Board will ultimately have the last word on this project. Kelly cannot keep any member as individuals from doing whatever they please. He can speak to them as a board only. Folks can donate to whomever they wish. You may feel free to feed the homeless with your money if you choose. I may feel charitable otherwise.

Posted by: Anne k Saggese | Dec 19, 2019 07:26

For one, so that there are two completely independent bodies vetting this project. Keeping them from each other means each can come to their own conclusions on the material presented without influence from the other proceedings. It's a good thing - a  kind of checks-and-balances system for us to know a project has been vetted from a  few different and unique angles. There is nothing stopping information givers to provide both boards with any information they have so your assessment of the situation is unnecessarily paranoid.


Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Dec 17, 2019 05:52

What is the reasoning behind the advice given to the Belfast Planning Board not to attend the upcoming Bureau of Environmental Protection hearings that will be held in Belfast?

If you wish to comment, please login.