Judge orders full hearing on Martin Marietta mining permit

Groups opposed to a 650-acre mining operation near Blounts Creek won a court battle today in Beaufort County.

Superior Judge Douglas Parsons overturned an administrative law judge's decision, saying that Sound Rivers and the North Carolina Coastal Federation are considered "person aggrieved" and that there are issues of fact that require a full hearing.

Some 50 Saving Blounts Creek supporters were out in force for the hearing in Washington, holding a pep rally prior to court.

Martin Marietta wants to mine limestone, and discharge up to 12-million gallons of water each day into the creek.

But the groups have said that discharge could affect the local environment.