Plaintiffs Challenge Nationwide Permit for Finfish Aquaculture Development in Federal Waters

Nine advocacy groups and the Quinault Indian Nation asked a federal judge to invalidate a nationwide permit that they say the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) improperly issued to allow industrial fish farm structures in state and federal ocean waters around the country. Plaintiffs allege the ACE did not have the authority to issue Nationwide Permit 56 (NWP 56) and failed to consider a wide range of adverse impacts the structures and their aquaculture operations would have on everything from marine life and water quality to essential fish habitat and coastal communities. Issuance of NWP 56 marks the first time the ACE has issued a nationwide permit for industrial finfish aquaculture development in United States waters on the Outer Continental Shelf. Plaintiffs are represented by the Center for Food Safety and Recirculating Farms Coalition.