Nordic Aquafarms California, LLC Land-based Aquaculture Project

7 Documents in Project


SCH Number
Lead Agency
Humboldt County
Document Title
Nordic Aquafarms California, LLC Land-based Aquaculture Project
Document Type
EIR - Draft EIR
Present Land Use
Industrial, Coastal Dependent (MC), Density: N/A; Industrial, General (IG), Density: N/A; Humboldt Bay Area Plan (HBAP), 2017 General Plan, Slope Stability: Relatively Stable (0) and Moderate Instability (2)
Document Description
The applicant (Nordic Aquafarms California, LLC. (NAFC)) is requesting a Coastal Development Permit and Special Permit for the construction of a land-based finfish recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility, which includes the development of five buildings totaling approximately 766,530 square feet and the installation of 4.8 megawatt (MW) solar panel array mounted on building rooftops, covering approximately 657,000 square feet. The height of the tallest proposed building is 60 feet. The facility would have an annual production capacity of approximately 25,000-27,000 metric tons of Head On Gutted (HOG) fish once complete. The aquaculture facility would produce fresh head on gutted fish and fillets for delivery to regional markets. The species to be produced at the facility is intended to be Atlantic Salmon. The project will include ancillary support features such as paved parking, fire access roads, security fencing, and stormwater management features. The project would require approximately 2.5 million gallons per day (MGD) of freshwater sourced from the Mad River, supplied by the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District via existing infrastructure. The project would require approximately 10 MGD of salt water provided via upgraded intake infrastructure located adjacent to the NAFC Project Site. Treated wastewater would be discharged utilizing the existing Redwood Marine Terminal II ocean outfall pipe, which extends one and a half miles offshore. A total volume of 12.5 MGD is anticipated to be released daily. Wastewater discharge is permitted by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District (District) proposes to upgrade/improve and operate two formerly used bay-water intake systems (sea chests) in Humboldt Bay. The water intakes are located approximately one-half mile apart along the Samoa Channel at the Redwood Marine Terminal II (RMT II) Dock and Red Tank Dock. The intake systems were operated by a pulp mill from around 1966 until the mill was closed in 2008. Salt water from the intakes would be used by District tenants and other entities for aquaculture and other allowable uses. A new water line would be installed from the RMT II Dock and Red Tank Dock water intakes to manifolds at RMT I, RMT II and NAFC. The project also includes installation of a fire suppression water line and fire hydrant replacement. The fire suppression line would share a trench with the bay water intake line. The bay water line and fire suppression water line would involve trenching except where it crosses an existing stormwater feature and where the bay water line would run on the edges of Red Tank Dock and RMT II Dock. This water line would be attached to an existing walkway or to a replacement structure of the same size or smaller. The fire suppression water line would terminate near the RMT I manifold, RMT II manifold and at Red Tank Dock. The fire suppression water line would have a maximum outside diameter of 12 inches. The bay water line would range from 18-36 inch maximum outside diameter. The maximum width of ground impacts would be 19 feet in sections where both pipes occur and 17 feet where only one pipe occurs. The proposed aquaculture facility will include life cycle development, from egg to harvestable fish, contained indoors in separate buildings connected by swim pipes for fish transfer. The facility would include the following design elements: 1. A hatchery operation where eggs are hatched, and fish fry grow to juvenile size (Building 3) 2. A grow-out operation with large tanks where fish are grown to market size (Buildings 1 & 2) 3. A fish processing facility from which fish is processed and fresh product is shipped out 4 days a week, coproducts are chilled and stored for sale (Building 4) 4. Backup systems that will enable critical functions to operate for many days in the event of a power outage 5. Oxygen generation plant and liquid oxygen storage 6. Water intake treatment that ensures consistently clean water for the fish (Buildings 1 & 2) 7. An advanced wastewater treatment plant to treat the discharge water, including a Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor, a membrane bioreactor, and Ultraviolet (UV-C) dosing (Building 5) 8. Administrative building and associated operations/maintenance facilities (Building 4) Project phasing: The aquaculture facility is anticipated to be built out in two primary phases, with preliminary site preparation (Phase 0): 1. Phase 0 - Brownfield Redevelopment (2022): asbestos abatement; structure demolition; soil remediation; waste stream characterization, transportation, and disposal. 2. Phase 1 – Brownfield Redevelopment and Aquaculture Facility Stage 1 (2022 - 2023): Intake and outfall connections; ground densification to prepare construction of building foundations; construction of Phase 1 grow-out module (Building 1), Central Utility Plant (Building 3), Fish Processing Plant/Administrative (Building 4), Wastewater Treatment and Backup Power (Building 5); Oxygen generation storage; stormwater systems; onsite and offsite biological mitigation. 3. Phase 2 – Aquaculture Facility Stage 2 (2026 or 2027): Ground densification; Phase 2 grow-out module (Building 2); soil remediation; expansion of utilities; existing leach field decommissioning. The proposed fire suppression systems and sea chests improvements are anticipated to begin prior to construction of Phase 1 of the aquaculture facility. Timing is dependent on obtaining all agency approvals and permits.

Contact Information

Cade McNamara
Agency Name
Humboldt County
Job Title
Planner II
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency

Andrea Hilton
Agency Name
Job Title
Environmental Planner
Contact Types
Consulting Firm

Marianne Naess
Agency Name
Nordic Aquafarms California
Job Title
Vice President
Contact Types
Project Applicant

Larry Oetker
Agency Name
Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation, and Conservation District
Job Title
Executive Director
Contact Types
Project Applicant


Countywide, Northern California
Cross Streets
Vance Avenue and LP Drive
Total Acres
Parcel #
401-112-021, 401-112-014, 401-031-040
State Highways
Samoa Field Airport
Peninsula Union Elementary School
Humboldt Bay, Pacific Ocean

Notice of Completion

State Review Period Start
State Review Period End
State Reviewing Agencies
California Air Resources Board (ARB), California Coastal Commission (CCC), California Department of Conservation (DOC), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Habitat Conservation Planning (CDFW), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Northern and Eureka Region 1 (CDFW), California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), California Department of Parks and Recreation, California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, California Department of State Parks, Division of Boating and Waterways, California Department of Transportation, District 1 (DOT), California Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics (DOT), California Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Planning (DOT), California Department of Water Resources (DWR), California Energy Commission, California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES), California Highway Patrol (CHP), California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC), California Natural Resources Agency, California Regional Water Quality Control Board, North Coast Region 1 (RWQCB), California State Lands Commission (SLC), Department of Toxic Substances Control, Office of Historic Preservation, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Quality, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Rights, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Marin Region 7 (CDFW)
State Reviewing Agency Comments
California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Marin Region 7 (CDFW)
Development Types
Industrial (Aquaculture Facility)(Sq. Ft. 766530, Acres 36, Employees 150)
Local Actions
Coastal Permit
Project Issues
Aesthetics, Air Quality, Biological Resources, Coastal Zone, Cultural Resources, Cumulative Effects, Drainage/Absorption, Economics/Jobs, Energy, Flood Plain/Flooding, Geology/Soils, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Hazards & Hazardous Materials, Hydrology/Water Quality, Land Use/Planning, Mandatory Findings of Significance, Mineral Resources, Noise, Population/Housing, Public Services, Recreation, Septic System, Sewer Capacity, Solid Waste, Transportation, Tribal Cultural Resources, Utilities/Service Systems, Vegetation, Wetland/Riparian, Wildfire
Local Review Period Start
Local Review Period End


Draft Environmental Document [Draft IS, NOI_NOA_Public notices, OPR Summary Form, Appx,]
Notice of Completion [NOC] Transmittal form
State Comment Letters [Comments from state reviewing agencies]

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