Saturday, October 15, 2022

Eastern Shore Salmon Farm Cancelled

Not a farmed salmon
Bay Journal, Salmon farm developer withdraws discharge permit request amid sturgeon concerns

Facing growing public pushback, a Norwegian company hoping to build a large indoor salmon farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore has — at least for now — dropped its bid for a permit to discharge wastewater into the only waterway in the state where endangered Atlantic sturgeon are known to spawn.

AquaCon Maryland LLC notified the Maryland Department of the Environment on Oct. 14 that it was withdrawing its application to discharge up to 2.3 million gallons a day of treated “purge” water into Marshyhope Creek, a tributary of the Nanticoke River.

The company said in a press release that the public comments on the application “drew attention to Atlantic sturgeons’ use of Marshyhope Creek, which warrants further consideration and evaluation.”

Not an Atlantic Sturgeon

Ryan Showalter, the company’s Easton-based lawyer, said in an email that AquaCon has not given up on developing an 18-acre salmon production facility in Federalsburg. Expecting that MDE would require additional information to address “uncertainties” about the facility’s impacts on the sturgeon, Showalter said, company officials decided to withdraw the application and investigate alternatives to year-round discharge into the Marshyhope.

MDE gave preliminary approval to the company’s permit in June, but since then the project has drawn pushback from scientists, environmentalists and local residents concerned about the plant’s potential impact on the creek and its fish, particularly sturgeon. An August hearing drew more than 100 people, with nearly all who spoke opposing it.

I didn't necessarily oppose the salmon farm, but I did wonder if it made a whole lot of economic sense to have an all indoors salmon farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore. But they could use the jobs. 

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