Blounts Creek supporters win appeal case


WASHINGTON, Beaufort County - It's been a longtime battle for Blounts Creek supporters in Beaufort County.

Martin Marietta Materials has a permit from the state, which will allow them to dump 12 million gallons of wastewater into the saltwater of Blounts Creek each day with its proposed limestone mine.

But environmentalists and the people of Blounts Creek say this large amount of fresh water will destroy their popular saltwater fishing creek.

In March of this year, the case was heard by Administrative Judge Phil Berger Jr. He ruled the residents had no legal standing to challenge the permit.

The Blounts Creek residents appealed the decision Thursday in Superior Court and won. Now the people of Blounts Creek have the opportunity to a fair trial to save their creek.

"Getting in the courtroom is the first step. And so now we have the opportunity to put on witnesses and go through a trial to prove the facts that we argued today," Southern Environment Lawyer Geoff Gisler said.

Gisler says the overflow of freshwater increases the risk of flooding, erosion and threatens the survival of saltwater species.

Marietta's attorneys declined to make a comment to NewsChannel 12 as the case is still ongoing.

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