Jan 13, 2007

Salmon manure - Maine DEP tightfisted on details

Under an aquaculture agreement with the federal EPA, Maine oversees the NPDES pollution permitting license for finfish aquaculture. The salmon farms dotting the downeast coast must file monthly monitoring reports with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, detailing the amount of manure that has emanated from the up-to million farm salmon swimming in foreign-owned cages from Passamaquoddy Bay to Blue Hill Bay at any given time.

Read DEP Fact Sheet on Salmon farm pollution monitoring (PDF)

The reports arrive at MDEP's Bangor office in a tabulated format that Maine DEP, several years into receiving these reports, says it has yet to come up with a good way of printing them out or otherwise making them available.
This has angered and frustrated coastal environmentalists seeking this info -- vital to keeping track of these absentee-owned marine hog farms. But MDEP has persisted making these reports available to the public as paper printouts. on unscannable unreadable gray paper stock with the oversized table figures overcompressed to the point of unreadability.

The MDEP official in question Matthew Young admitted that "the printed form is a challenge to read" and agreed to "look into the possibility of creating a cd-rom with the electronic reports we have now...".

Further Young'll see where the agency as it as far as adding this waste discharge data to its publically available database. Watch this space...

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