Battle over Blounts Creek - WNCT

Battle over Blounts Creek

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CHOCOWINITY, N.C. -

The battle over Blounts Creek is reaching new heights. People living along the creek want to preserve it’s water quality. A proposed mine might endanger it.

On Thursday, The Pamlico- Tar River Foundation and the Southern Environmental Law Center filed a suit against the North Carolina Division of Water Resources. The group says the state issued Martin Marietta, a proposed mine near Vanceboro, a permit that defies the rules established in the federal Clean Water Act.

"They’re violating state laws, they're violating federal laws and it doesn't seem to make any difference.” Ed Rhine said.

Heather Deck, the Pamlico-Tar River keeper says the permit allows the company to dump 12 million gallons of water a day into the creek. It is equivalent to 13 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Experts say the eco-system will be impacted greatly. "There are alternative here, this does not have to happen." Deck said.

The foundation suggests if Martin-Marietta spent $450,000 more a year, the mine could dispose of the water in a safer way. "There are other options but they're looking for the cheapest, easiest way and they're getting permits just like they're candy to a kid. I'm appauled."

"You can protect the environment and still make a profit. You can still employ people. We haven't fought the mine; we fought the way they are getting rid of the wastewater." Rhine added.

9 On Your Side contacted Martin-Marietta for comment. However, they have yet to respond.

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