State environmental department permit reaffirmed

Friday, December 2, 2016 - 10:00 am
A court ruling this month reaffirmed the state environmental department’s decision to issue a freshwater discharge permit in Beaufort County that protects public health and the environment. 
 
The state environmental department originally issued the permit in 2013 which granted permission for Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. to discharge up to 12 million gallons per day of comingled stormwater and groundwater from a proposed mine near Vanceboro into tributaries of Blounts Creek in Beaufort County. 
 
Staff from the environmental department held a public hearing on the proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES, permit in March of 2013. As a result of comments gathered at that hearing and during the comment period, numerous changes were made to the draft NPDES permit before it was finalized. Changes included increased monitoring and discharge limitations.  
 
After the permit was challenged, the state Office of Administrative Hearings determined that the groups represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center failed to present sufficient proof or evidence to challenge the issuance of the permit.  
The state environmental department will continue to protect the environment by enforcing the laws and regulations of the state of North Carolina. 
 
You may view the court ruling here.