Nordic AquaFarms proposes to build a land-based fish farm at the former Samoa pulp mill that they say would use a mixture of fresh and salt water to raise 27,000 metric tons of Atlantic Salmoon, discharging 12.5 million gallons of effluent daily through the existing 1½-mile long ocean outfall. Bay intakes would supply 10 mgd saltwate, while 2mgd freshwater would be supplied by the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District. Remodeling the former pulp mill would include removing the smokestack and other asbestos- and lead-laden structures, debris, and contaminated soil. 

Click HERE for our scoping comments submitted for the Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report on behalf of Humboldt Baykeeper, Surfrider Foundation, EPIC, NEC - July 6, 2021.

Click HERE for our comments on the Regional Water Board's draft NPDES permit on behalf of Humboldt Baykeeper, Surfrider Foundation, and EPIC - June 4, 2021.

Click HERE for our comments on the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration submitted on behalf of Humboldt Baykeeper, Surfrider Foundation, EPIC, NEC, 350 Humboldt, and Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities - May 24, 2021.

Click HERE for our initial (2019) statement on the proposed land-based fish farm. 

We will continue to watchdog Nordic AquaFarms’ proposal, and will keep our members and the community informed of opportunities for input. To receive updates, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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.”


Those interested in scheduling a tour of the project site can contact local liaison Lynette Mullen via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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Executives from Nordic Aquafarms were busy this week giving a series of tours out on the Samoa Peninsula, offering politicians, environmentalists, fishermen and others an up-close view of the dilapidated industrial site — home to the corroding remains of the Evergreen Pulp mill — where the company plans to build a large, land-based fish farm.

The draft environmental impact report for the project is still being prepared, so some of the details remain in flux. 

Jennifer Kalt, executive director of environmental nonprofit Humboldt Baykeeper, said her organization still has concerns about whether the project can be completed in a way that protects the ecosystems of Humboldt Bay and the nearby Pacific. But after touring the site on Wednesday, she said in a Facebook post that the project would include not only much-needed cleanup but also construction of a modern stormwater system. 

“As it stands today, every major rainstorm carries polluted runoff into the bay,” the post reads. “And the way our legal system works, it will stay that way until someone invests in the cleanup. Nordic estimates it will cost $10+ million to demolish and remove everything. Sure, the Harbor District can continue applying for EPA Brownfields grants, but at $250,000 apiece, it would take several lifetimes.”

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Norway-based seafood company Nordic Aquafarms announced last week that it will pursue an environmental impact report (EIR) for its proposed onshore fish farm on the Samoa Peninsula in response to calls for further environmental analysis.
The Humboldt County Planning and Building Department released a mitigated negative declaration (MND) for the project last month but a coalition of environmental groups argued that the assessment didn’t go far enough.
Jennifer Kalt, director of Humboldt Baykeeper, said Nordic should have pursued an EIR in the first place.
“Such a massive project is not something where shortcuts can be taken in the environmental review process and we appreciate their willingness to just go straight into the draft EIR process rather than push it through (the MND) process and see how it goes,” Kalt said. “I think it’s just saving everyone a lot of time and effort to just agree to do the draft EIR right away.”
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 The county released an initial study and mitigated negative declaration (MND) for the project earlier this year. The document was circulated between April and May and received 324 comments surrounding the aforementioned concerns in addition to impacts from greenhouse gas emissions from refrigerants and fluorinated gases, energy use and transportation impacts.

Byron Turner, senior planner with Eureka-based engineering firm LACO Associates, said it became clear that “a project of this complexity” would warrant an EIR “if for no other reason than to provide a pathway to respond to those comments.”

“There’s no requirement for response to comments in an (MND), so that was one of the main reasons why we shifted gears,” he said. “This is the first part of the EIR process; the scoping period where we inform the agencies and the public that we’re drafting this document and we’re listening to environmental concerns. This is the listening and information gathering stage of the process.” The notice of preparation for Nordic’s draft EIR will be available until July 6 for public comment. A copy of the document can be found at https://humboldtgov.org/2347/Major-Projects.
 
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In response to news from Nordic Aquafarms and Humboldt County that the county will pursue a full environmental impact report for the proposed fish farm, a coalition of North Coast environmental organizations thank the company and county for listening to community concern and their commitment to rigorous environmental review.
“Our organizations called for the preparation of an environmental impact report because we believed that this project—which is unlike anything seen before in Humboldt County or even the state of California — could benefit from more thorough environmental impact review and public participation,” said Jennifer Kalt, director of Humboldt Baykeeper.

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