State says Nordic has 'sufficient' title, right and interest to proceed

By Stephanie Grinnell | Jun 14, 2019

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.”

Comments (9)
Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Jun 19, 2019 00:38

Question....What is NA planning of packing their fish in, now that styrofoam is banned in Maine as of 1/1/21? "Single use" in the law are key words and restaurants in the state is illegal to have in stock?  Just curious how the legislature is planning on handling possession of styrofoam?



Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Jun 19, 2019 00:03

I do question why Whole Oceans has all the permits and now applying for building permits vs NA still waiting on the same agencies for approvals.

 

We must ask what, how, and why Whole Ocean got their permits already and NA does not.  Remember NA is a $500 million dollar project which should have had ALL the ducks in a row to build the project.  Any hiccups along the way, if made at this stage, would become a much larger problem corrected after the fact.   Then again the CEO chose not to live in the area.  That speaks volumes in a way.



Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Jun 18, 2019 23:53

It is extremely obvious you did  not watch the movie.  So your response is perfectly understood.

 

Given the amount of changes to the aqua farming industry recently is proof alone.  The words of those changes come from an interview of the CEO and how so many improvements have occurred in the industry.

 

The entire government over site agencies are not corrupt but rather the power of the venture investors on influencing decisions.  As I said, The movie "The Inventor Out for Blood in Silicon Valley" gives insight of how an idea, combined with power and money, can build a multi-billion dollar house of cards.

 

I AM NOT saying this is NA case, however to poo poo the lobster men's/women's union concerns when it is they that are on the water even more then some of the desk jockeys is extremely short sighted.



Posted by: Eric Schrader | Jun 18, 2019 19:05

Hey Dominic, we need to hear more from you.



Posted by: Domenic Ruccio | Jun 18, 2019 17:55

Kenneth:  The experts you are citing were not working for governmental entities tasked with protecting the environment by scrutinizing government-mandated applications that run to several linear feet in volume when completed.  Theranos was brought down by government regulators (and private law suits).  On the facts, I see virtually no applicable analogy between the Theranos situation and Nordic.  Theranos blatantly committed scientific fraud and got caught.  (Had they submitted their studies to peer review, the way legitimate scientists do, they would have been found out early on, which of course is why they did not.)  And let's remember that the Theranos story is one conspicuous outlier in an industry that has made scientific discoveries that have improved all our lives.  Theranos got so much attention primarily because it is so rare an occurrence.

 

As for money, unless you're insinuating - and I doubt you are -  that all the reviewing authorities at DEP and EPA, as well as all the other agencies who will review Nordic's applications, are dishonest and susceptible to bribery AND that Nordic is dishonest and inclined toward bribery - seems pretty out of character to me - I don't see money playing a role here in influencing the governmental application review process.  Additionally, given the high visibility of the Nordic project and the very bright lights that have been shined on it, I doubt that any sort of sculduggery is at play here, assuming of course that Nordic is that kind of morally challenged company, which they have provided absolutely no evidence to date they are.  Quite the contrary.

 

While not grouping you in this because I don't know you, I have to say how taken aback I am by the rank cynicism in general that Nordic has been met with.  With no evidentiary support, they have been accused of being everything but honest and transparent.  Their integrity has been routinely questioned in knee jerk fashion by people with absolutely no basis in fact to do so.  (And even less subject matter knowledge upon which to base their opinions.)   Is this what we've become as Americans?  I find it dismaying and embarrassing.  We just seem primed to expect the worst of everyone, especially if they happen to be in business, and so we default to that position.  And no amount of facts to the contrary moves some people off that stance.  None of us would ever wish to be treated the way Nordic has been treated. For the simple reason that it is unfair.  And most of us bristle up pretty good at unfair treatment, don't we?



Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Jun 18, 2019 15:19

Domenic.......Watch the movie about Theranos that recently came out and it might cause pause to your statement of the experts!!!  Learn who's the board of directors of Theranos and the process of "experts" ......well I won't spoil the truth for you and let you watch it for yourself  !!!     Money is a very persuasive tract and when the first press release of NA and who was supporting this project has many many similarities of the aforementioned project.

 

Well worth the time !



Posted by: Domenic Ruccio | Jun 17, 2019 17:40

 

By what special brand of hubris do these people feel that they possess knowledge about these complex scientific issues superior to that of the well-credentialed subject matter experts at EPA and the DEP?  Not to mention every other governmental agency that will review these applications in great detail?  Is their attitude, like the woman at one public meeting said after testimony by an expert debunked her baseless damning accusation, "I just don't believe you."   Is this simply good ol' American know-nothingness at play here?

Let the application review process by people who actually know the subject proceed apace.  If there is something amiss with Nordic's project they will find it.

For goodness sake, give it a rest.  You are not the lone clarion voice nobly defending nature against the money grubbing predations of a for-profit entity.  You are beginning to look like a mob in search of a cause. Please, for the love of Mike, find something else to do with all that time you appear to have on your hands. Let the process work.




Posted by: Eric Schrader | Jun 14, 2019 16:50

Well, it looks like the wind has been taken out of the sails of Upstream. I hope it goes to court and they get a good spanking by the Court and maybe their nuisance suit will finally go away.



Posted by: Kenneth W Hall | Jun 14, 2019 13:57

Congrats Nordic !!   Let's hope the courts make quick work of appeals.  One can hope anyways !



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