Environmental plans for massive Placentia Bay aquaculture project approved by government

Grieg NL's proposed aquaculture project would be one of the biggest in Canada and is is expected to cost more than $250 million.

Project has been through appeals, public reviews and 2 rounds of court proceedings

'The approval of these plans are conditions of release of the project from environmental assessment,' says the provincial government. (Mark Quinn/ CBC)

The provincial government has approved two environmental monitoring plans for Grieg NL's proposed aquaculture project in Placentia Bay.

The Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment said it approved the plans for environmental monitoring of the proposed sea cages and of the ecological environment beneath the salmon farm.

"The approval of these plans are conditions of release of the project from environmental assessment," the department said in a release sent Aug. 30. 

CBC News asked both the company and the provincial government for interviews to discuss the latest development. Grieg NL did not respond. 

As for requests to the Department of Environment, a spokesperson initially said last week they would look into it. After Friday's cabinet shuffle, CBC made another request Monday to the department and a spokesperson said she was still working on the request. No information had been provided by Monday evening.

The timeline so far

Grieg NL's plans include 11 sea cage sites in four different locations in Placentia Bay.

The project's environmental assessment process has been ongoing since February 2016, when Grieg NL first submitted its plans to build a land-based salmon hatchery in Marystown.

Since then, the project has been through appeals and public reviews, as well as two rounds of court proceedings.

Grieg NL's project is expected to cost more than $250 million, of which the province is contributing $30 million in the form of a repayable loan.

The project is slated to be up and running in 2025.

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