To our readers,

The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-century type story, ... Click here to continue


Upstream Watch offers Nordic alternative plan

Will withdraw opposition if Nordic will move project, update technology
By Carolyn Zachary and Kendra Caruso | Nov 10, 2019
Courtesy of: Upstream Watch Little River at low tide. Nordic Aquafarms proposed to build a land-based salmon farm on this site.

Belfast — Upstream Watch, a local environmental advocacy group currently challenging plans for a proposed land-based salmon farm along the Little River, has suggested an alternative solution — but Nordic Aquafarms says it will not work.

According to an Upstream Watch press release issued Nov. 8, consultant David Losee said during a public meeting the night before, “Move the project to suitable land adjacent to Belfast Airport Business Park and use true zero discharge technology, and Upstream will withdraw its opposition.”

Alluding to court challenges lodged against the proposed salmon farm and its plans for discharge pipes into Penobscot Bay, Losee asked, “Do we want a decision on a $500 million project made by a judge or a hearing officer from some other part of the state, or do we want to work this out by compromise among fair-minded local people?”

In its Nov. 8 news release, Upstream Watch said that, despite inclement weather, more than 70 people attended the informational meeting Thursday evening at United Farmers Market, 18 Spring St.

Upstream Watch founder and President Amy Grant said, “Moving this facility to a more suitable site could be a win/win for everyone and we hope that Nordic takes our proposal seriously. The site that is currently proposed by Nordic is completely unsuitable for numerous reasons, including unstable clay soil and a failing dam immediately upstream, not to mention that Nordic still has no path to the bay.”

Other speakers at the meeting included John Krueger, retired DEP division director and scientist, who expressed concern that Nordic was not offering Belfast the best available technology, which includes Zero Wastewater Discharge.

Krueger highlighted such zero discharge salmon production facilities as Aquamaof Aquaculture, Sustainable Blue and Superior Fresh, saying, “These companies are offering best available technology at their facilities; why shouldn't Belfast expect the same?”

Zero discharge technology would alleviate the need for wastewater discharge pipes into Penobscot Bay, according to the press release. “Nordic needs to choose the responsible path forward,” Grant said.

Nordic issued a statement Monday night saying that Upstream’s alternative site would not be suitable for its operation; nor would zero discharge technology be suitable for an operation of its proposed size. The statement said Nordic searched up and down the East Coast for a site to meet its criteria and the site in Belfast was the only one that addressed all needs.

Nordic said the company is using the best technology for an operation of its size, and that technology recycles 99% of water, removes 85% of nitrogen and removes 99% of material from its discharge. The company reiterated that it values open dialogue with the community.

“Nordic Aquafarms values dialog with local residents and groups to ensure that we find solutions that work for Belfast and its residents,” Jacki Cassida, Nordic community liaison, said in an email to The Republican Journal.

Grant could not immediately be reached for a response to Nordic's statement.

If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at
Comments (6)
Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Nov 15, 2019 19:21

Hutchings. You stand by your latest diatribe? Care to bring a more focused perspective to the dialog? Where did Democracy fail in the Belfast City councils spot zoning of the Little River? Where did your Belfast and Northport neighbors see a deception in the process?

Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Nov 13, 2019 10:14

Democracy cannot work unless truth is told to the citizens. The consent of the governed means nothing if it is won by fear and deceit. Dissent is the duty of the American people to demand that the country live up to its own promises of equality and justice. The degree to which you resist injustice is the degree to which you are free.

Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Nov 12, 2019 18:24

Belfast's new sewer courtesy of the folks in Bayside. 7 million gallons per day. Every day. Two weeks to reach Owls Head. A steady plume of effluent into 35 feet of water. Two weeks times 7 million per day is 98 million gallons of effluent end to end. Nordic doesn't know what feed they are going to utilize to feed these fish. How can you determine nitrogen levels of the effluent without that information?

Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Nov 12, 2019 15:39

Nordic hasn't "bought" anything. Real estate that is. Calm down Hutchings. There are many opposed to this project. Some next door, some not. This is not your house next door proposal. Rich. The type of people you are? What does that mean? Type? People are the same. Ideas are not. Good proposal from Upstream Watch.

Posted by: Steven Hutchings | Nov 12, 2019 13:50

A smoke and mirrors proposal.  I don't like the person who moves next door, so my suggestion is they put their just bought house on the market and move some place else that I designate under the conditions I  dictate, That is an example of democracy, Not

I have never heard of anything so absurd. Our country is founded on freedoms and has a check and balance system. A company is no different than an individual, if you pass all the rules and regulations passed down by that democracy you have the freedom to build.  I don't know who these people are, but if you want change don't take away individual or company rights, do it the right way which is to run for office and if you are not elected maybe it is an indicator that you are not part of the majority.  You don't get to change the rules of democracy. The antics of Upstream Watch are an insult to the rest of us.  During this whole issue your actions and foolishness illustrates the type of people you are and that quite frankly is sad.

Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Nov 11, 2019 16:19

Good plan. Win win for all should Nordic step up and provide better science in a better location.

If you wish to comment, please login.
Note: If you signed up using our new subscriber portal, your username is the email address you registered with and your password is in all caps