EPA reminding the public to pre-register to offer comments at Jan. 28 hearing on proposed ‘fish farm’ off county coastline

Hearing to start at 5:30 p.m. at Mote facility on Ken Thompson Parkway

This is the banner on the Kampachi Farms website showing the ‘fish farm’ concept. Image from Kampachi Farms

A proposal for a “fish farm” about 40 meters deep and about 45 miles southwest of the Sarasota County coast will be the focus of a Jan. 28 public hearing at Mote Marine Laboratory, Region 4 staff of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reminding the public.

Speakers are invited to address the proposed issuance of what is called an NPDES permit —  No. FL0A00001 — for Kampachi Farms LLC’s Velella Epsilon marine aquaculture facility.

The hearing will begin at 5:30 p.m. and is scheduled to end at 9:30 p.m. at Mote’s WAVE Center, located at 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway on the southern end of Longboat Key.

“All persons interested in this draft NPDES permit are invited to attend the public hearing,” an EPA announcement says. The EPA Region 4 staff, out of Atlanta, is encouraging those who wish to speak to pre-register online at least 72 hours in advance. However, people also may register when they arrive at the hearing, the EPA says.

Pre-registration may be done at the following website: https://projects.erg.com/conferences/npdes/register-publichearing.html.

The draft NPDES permit, draft Environmental Assessment and other supporting documents may be found at https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-epa-region-4-southeast. The public comment period will be open through Feb. 4, 2020. Information on how to submit comments may be found at that same website, the EPA notes.