Administrative Court Judge Phil Berger issued a ruling on November 30th upholding the permit which would allow Martin Marietta Mining to discharge 12 million gallons of wastewater per day into Blounts Creek. This ruling fails to protect the many interests which benefit from Blounts Creek, and completely ignores the standards of the Clean Water Act intended to protect and preserve our waters.
Our Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper stated, “The decision completely ignores the interests of the people who live along the creek, fish its waters, and depend on its unique fisheries. The N.C. Division of Water Resources could require the company to pursue other available alternatives that would protect the creek, not harm the local citizens, and comply with state and federal laws.”
Sound Rivers will appeal this decision to Superior Court, and our press release on the ruling may be found here.
In other news, the NC Court of Appeals issued a separate decision on December 12th, stating that Superior Court Judge Parsons could not retain jurisdiction in the case. In his earlier ruling in Beaufort County in September, 2015 Judge Parsons ruled that he would retain jurisdiction if the case were to be appealed back to Superior Court. Attorneys for Martin Marietta Materials subsequently filed two appeals challenging Judge Parsons ability to retain jurisdiction, and won that appeal with the December 12th order.
This most recent court order does not interfere with Sound Rivers appeal to Superior Court, which is proceeding.