A legislative committee voted Thursday to kill a bill that sought to establish additional regulations on Maine’s industrial aquaculture sector.
The Sierra Club-backed measure sought to require the Department of Marine Resources to ensure that new land-based aquaculture facilities would not degrade water or air quality or increase carbon emissions.
It also would have put in place strict new standards for feed sources.
Supporters said they are concerned that the state lacks the ability to consider the cumulative effects of the industry. Since 2018, five large-scale fish farms have been proposed in Belfast, Bucksport, Jonesport, Frenchman Bay off Bar Harbor and Millinocket.
The Maine Department of Marine Resources testified last week in opposition to the bill, saying that these projects are already subject to many requirements.
Shortly before the 12-0 Marine Resources Committee vote on Thursday, Sen. Cameron Reny (D-Bristol) said she worries about the impacts of the proposal.
“I think the intent behind this bill is something I can get behind, but I can’t support it in its current form just based on the impact, which is different than the intent,” she said.