Local officials and community members joined Nordic Aquafarms representatives for a site tour of the proposed onshore fish farm at the defunct Samoa pulp mill facility Thursday. The Norway-based seafood company launched the tour series last week in an effort to address community concerns surrounding the project.
Earlier this year, Nordic agreed to pursue an environmental impact report for the project in response to calls for further environmental analysis. Although the Humboldt County Planning and Building Department had already released a mitigated negative declaration for the project, a coalition of environmental groups argued that the assessment didn’t go far enough, citing concerns of energy use, fish feed, fish waste disposal, water use and transportation impacts.
If all goes according to plan, Naess said the EIR will be out for public review in September. “Then it goes for a 45-day public comment period and then, of course, we will need to respond to everything,” she said. “Then hopefully we will receive the final approval. Depending on whether or not it’s appealed, the project would go before the Board of Supervisors.”