Judge rules in favor of residents in Blounts Creek mining dispute

BEAUFORT COUNTY, NC (WITN) - An Eastern Carolina judge has ruled in favor of residents who fear a limestone mine will harm a local waterway.

Sound Rivers says the Superior Court judge today vacated state permits given to Martin Marietta.

The company wants to build a deep pit limestone mine in Vanceboro, and discharge some 12 million gallons of wastewater into Blounts Creek each day.

Environmental advocacy groups have been fighting the plan since 2013 when the state first issued the permit. The groups claim the permit violates the Clean Water Act.

"Blounts Creek really is a special place it’s a very high-quality stream, a pristine stream and one of the reasons why it’s enjoyed so much," said Heather Deck from Sound Rivers. "It really is an extraordinary feeling to know that these years of effort put in by Sound Rivers, and the community members especially has paid off."

Despite today's win, Deck is expecting the fight to continue as Martin Marietta still has the option to appeal today's decision.