The state has okayed one hurdle for a proposed rock quarry in Beaufort County, despite concern from local residents about possible pollution.
The 1,600 acre limestone quarry for Martin Marietta would be located off Welbourn Road near Vanceboro.
The wastewater from the mine would end up in Blounts Creek, a recreational fishing hot spot.
The N.C. Division of Water Quality approved the water quality certification for the quarry on Wednesday.
Martin Marietta is also seeking a national pollutant discharge elimination system permit from the state to address a proposed discharge to tributaries to Blounts Creek.