Norwegian group Nordic Aquafarms plans' for a 33,000-metric ton land-based salmon farm in Belfast, Maine, inched closer to the development phase after the company received draft permits.

The company demonstrated that its wastewater discharge and air emissions plans comply with federal rules.

Permitting progress has been made after years of work and despite opposition from environmental groups and residents.

"We are comfortable with the proposed minor air emission permit from the DEP. They have an accurate picture of our minor air emissions," the company said on its Facebook page.

"Our job is to stay within these limits, and in that we have comfortable margins."

The company told IntraFish in June it expects to receive the final permits later this summer. Construction is set to start next year.

Nordic Aquafarms expects to receive permits for construction to commence at its farm in Humboldt County in California next year. The company said it is on track to have all of the necessary permit applications submitted by November.

The site is expected to produce 27,000 metric tons of salmon annually.