Archived Story

Where are the watchdog groups?

Published 4:32pm Thursday, August 29, 2013

To the Editor:

In a previous news release. Martin Marietta Materials told how many jobs it would create and how much money its would save the state of North Carolina. Perhaps another way to look at its proposed mine would be to see how much it is costing the residents of Beaufort County. I live in Blounts Creek and subscribe to the county water system. I pay $32 for the first 2,000 gallons per month of water usage and $5.34 for the next 1,000 gallons per month, or a total of $ 37.34. Let’s assume my water consumption is average (some use more, some use less). MMM plans to pump 12 million gallons per day from the Castle Hayne Aquifer, or 360,000,000 gallons per month. If the average family uses 3,000 gallons per month, then MMM will waste the combined water usage equal to that of 120,000 families (almost 10 times the number of BCWD subscribers). Each of those 120,000 families would pay $ 37.34 each month, or $4,480,080 combined each month. This equates to $53,769,600 per year.

When asked what its plan to do with this “public trust resource,” MMM simply states that it plans to convert it into wastewater and dump it into Blounts Creek. A misplaced resource becomes a pollutant. Therefore, the residents of Beaufort County will have to pay for this lost water resource, and again when it violates the Clean Water Act through the destruction of the stated pH and salinity parameters of Blounts Creek.

The Beaufort County water system has 12,500 customers (8/2/13), both residential and commercial. This means MMM will waste enough water each month to last all BCWD customers 9.6 years. Please remember that this waste will cost county residents approximately $54 million each year in a lost “public trust resource.” Even by federal budget standards that is significant money.

Government agencies are instituted to protect the public from gross exploitation. Where is DWQ, DMF, NCWRC and the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners when they are truly needed? How many jobs? And at what cost?

Gilbert A. Tripp

Blounts Creek

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