AquaCon withdraws permit application in Maryland
October 17, 2022 By Nestor Arellano
Plans of Atlantic salmon producer AquaCon to build a land-based fish farm on the eastern shore of Maryland were stymied once more. This time, the aquaculture company has withdrawn is application for a permit to discharge wastewater into the sole waterway that feeds into an area where endangered Atlantic sturgeon spawn.
The company informed the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) last Friday that it has decided to pull back its application to be allowed to discharged 2.3 million gallons of wastewater a day into Marshyhope Creek.
A press release from the company said public comments about its application “drew attention to Atlantic sturgeons” use of Marshyhope Creek, which warrants further consideration and evaluation.”
A report from the Bay Journal, however, quoted AquaCon’s lawyer Ryan Showalter as saying this latest development does not mean the company is backing out of its plans to build a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in Maryland.
The lawyer said AquaCon is expecting that MDE requires additional information about how the facility will impact the local sturgeon population. Company officials have decided to withdraw is application and will look into alternative discharge options into the Marshyhope Creek, according to Showalter.
AquaCon signed a US$ 150 million contract for Israeli company AKVA Group to build a RAS facility in Maryland.
However, AquaCon has faced stiff opposition from environmental groups warning that the plan endangers the local sturgeon population.
In June this year, the MDE gave AquaCon preliminary approval to AquaCon’s application to discharge water into Marshyhope Creek.
However, a public hearing in August this year drew more than 100 participant, most of whom were opposed to AquaCon’s plans.
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