The fight to save Blounts Creek from a mining wastewater discharge continued on October with the fourth court hearing since Sound Rivers and partners began the challenge of a permit to Martin Marietta Materials in 2013. The hearing ended without a final decision; instead, the judge issued a request for both sides to submit their suggested rulings within 30 days.
In order to develop a 649-acre open pit limestone mine outside Vanceboro in Beaufort County, N.C., Martin Marietta plans to pump up to 12 million gallons per day of ground and mining wastewater into Blounts Creek. If allowed, this will transform the swampy habitat into a stream consisting primarily of the mine discharge water, permanently altering the creek’s diversity of life and abundance of high quality habitat for fish.
“There are other alternatives for a surface water discharge not to the headwaters of Blounts Creek that would be very easy for the company to do,” Heather Deck, Sound Rivers’ Executive Director, told WNCT. “Instead they chose to spend tens of thousands of dollars on court fees and attorneys.”