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American Aquafarms & the Environment

American Aquafarms & the Environment

Dear Editor:

Governor Janet Mills administration recently celebrated the one year anniversary of the Maine Wont Wait Climate Action Plan and the extraordinary progress her administration has made in meeting its goals.

All these efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are admirable. But what about new developments which will increase carbon emissions? How does the Mills administration look at them?

Are these projects being given more scrutiny or are they still being viewed through a lens of new jobs and tax revenue that is always promised but rarely delivered?

One example is the proposed American Aquafarms Project in Frenchman Bay, Acadia National Park. While much has been written about the 4.1 billion gallons effluent that will flow into the bays’ clear waters each day, very little attention has been paid to the project’s massive carbon footprint.

The proposal calls for ten 500kw generators, plus many smaller back-up units, to power lights and pumps throughout the day. They will consume 3 to 4,000,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually, and emit more than 67,000,000 lbs of CO2 into our atmosphere.

Add to that the pollution from a 150-foot processing vessel and other vessels that will be making daily trips from Maine to the pen sites, as well as scores of trucks that will be driving up and down rural roads every week to deliver fish food, supplies, and haul away harvested fish waste, and you have significant additions to Maine’s carbon footprint that will certainly detract from the Governor’s progress.

If we want to reduce Maine’s carbon footprint, we can’t just focus on current sources. We also need to ensure that new developments don’t cause us further damage. If the Mills administration is serious in addressing climate change, it must reject harmful and destructive projects such as American Aquafarms.

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James Paterson


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