The public comment period for the permit proposal by Cooke Aquaculture to resume farming fish in Puget Sound has been extended, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The company, which was responsible for the release of hundreds of thousands of Atlantic salmon into the sound after its net pens collapsed in 2017, applied for permits to raise sterile steelhead and rainbow trout at its remaining floating facilities in Rich Passage and Skagit Bay earlier this year.

On Oct. 1, state Fish and Wildlife announced its intent to approve the farm’s permits. Under the state Environmental Policy Act, the department determined the proposal doesn’t warrant an environmental impact statement. Now the public comment period, originally scheduled to close on Oct. 22, has been extended to close at 5 p.m. Nov. 22.

The extension is intended to allow the public more time to review the proposal and submit comments, Fish and Wildlife director Kelly Susewind said.

“We know that there is significant public interest in this proposal. We want to provide stakeholders with the best opportunity to make their voices heard in this process.”

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