Fundraiser helps support the battle over Blounts Creek - WRBL

Fundraiser helps support the battle over Blounts Creek

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CHOCOWINITY, N.C. - One eastern North Carolina community continues the fight to save its creek.

On Saturday, people who live along Blounts Creek held a barbeque plate fundraiser at the Cotton Patch Landing in Chocowinity.  More than 100 people showed up to raise money for the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation. 

The fundraiser featured barbeque chicken dinners, music, and free boat rides. 

The money raised at Saturday’s event will go towards the foundation’s lawsuit against the state. 

In 2013, the foundation sued the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural resources. The suit is in reference to a state permit given to Martin Marietta Mining Company in July. The permit allows Martin Marietta to pump 12-million gallons of water into the creek daily. 

 Many people, who live along the creek, say this discharged water will have a negative impact on the creek’s ecosystem. 

“In my mind it just doesn't seem right that our state and our federal administrators that are charged with protecting the environment would allow permits to be issued that will potentially change what has been here for 25,000 years in a year or two. It's just wrong," said Blounts Creek business owner Bob Bolden. 

Foundation officials say they expect to head to court in October.

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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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