AquaBounty’s land-based salmon farm plan faces scrutiny

AquaBounty’s plan to discharge 4.4 million gallons of treated wastewater per day into the St. Joseph River in northwestern Ohio will be front and center in the public information session being convened Monday night by the local environmental protection agency (EPA).

AquaBounty, known for developing the first genetically modified animal introduced into the US food supply chain, is preparing to build its 10,000-MT Atlantic salmon farm in the town of Pioneer, Ohio.

“If the permit is approved, discharges cannot violate Ohio’s water quality standards that protect human health and the environment,” the Ohio EPA said.

The farm will be AquaBounty’s second in the United States, the first one being in Albany, Indiana. Its production of  genetically engineered salmon, known as AquaAdvantage, will be  roughly eight times the Indiana farm’s annual capacity of 1,200 MT.

In August, the company said it will slow down the construction of the Ohio facility because of inflation and higher interest rates.

“Since our estimate for construction of the farm currently exceeds our previous range of $290-$320 million, we will review all options for reducing cost, including potentially phasing the construction of the 10,000-metric-ton farm with an initial production output level that would demonstrate our competitive advantage and ability to operate at commercial scale,” said CEO Sylvia Wulf at that time.

SalmonBusiness has reached out to Aquabounty for comment on Monday’s public session.

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