The wait for a decision by the presiding Judge Phil Berger, Jr. ended in late November when he issued a ruling upholding a permit to Martin Marietta Materials. 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.
Sound Rivers’ attorneys from the Southern Environmental Law Center appealed this decision in late December. This appeal was filed in Carteret County Superior Court on behalf of Sound Rivers and the NC Coastal Federation.
Sound Rivers and partners began the challenge of a permit to Martin Marietta in 2013. In order to develop a 649-acre open pit mine outside Vanceboro in Beaufort County, N.C., Martin Marietta plans to pump up to 12 million gallons per day of ground and wastewater into Blounts Creek’s headwaters. The discharge will transform the swampy, high quality headwater habitat into a stream unlike anything found in coastal North Carolina, consisting primarily of the mine discharge wastewater, permanently altering the creek’s diversity of life and abundance of high quality habitat for fish.
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 hurt the local citizens, and comply with state and federal laws.”
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