Letters on proposed mine hand delivered to governorPublished 9:12pm Friday, September 6, 2013
Three Blounts Creek men took a road trip to Raleigh on Thursday to hand deliver 269 letters to Gov. Pat McCrory.
The letters stated the concerns and objections to the potential impact a limestone quarry could have on the Castle Hayne aquifer — from which 12,000,000 gallons of water a day could be pumped to support the proposed Martin Marietta Materials mining operations — and Blounts Creek, where the used freshwater will be discharged.
Bob Boulden, Jimmy Daniels and Stan Sheets delivered the letters to the state capital, where they were taken under the wing of state Sen. Bill Cook’s aides. That’s how they ended up in the governor’s office.
“We walked in with our box full of 269 letters,” Boulden said. “They waived us right through security, no metal detector, didn’t even look at our drivers licenses.”
Included in the box of letters were a cover letter, a 2003 Castle Hayne aquifer study and Washington Daily News newspapers featuring coverage of the issue over the past few months.
The packet’s cover letter to the governor read: “We are extremely disappointed in the handling of the entire Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. process for citing a limestone quarry on the Beaufort/Craven County line in eastern North Carolina. Our comments were basically ignored and most recently Tom Reeder, Director of DENR, made the decision to ignore the laws in place at 15A NCAC 02B.0211 and .0231 and issue their NPDES permit. Bottom line — what Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. proposes to do will change Blounts Creek from a brackish water nursery creek to one that will only support freshwater species in much of its length, and permanently destroy swamp habitat that is the beginning for much of the food chain in the creek. Additionally, they plan on removing up to 12,000,000 gallons per day from the Castle-Hayne aquifer, which is used by much of eastern North Carolina for drinking water.”
The letter additionally invites the governor to join the discussion on the mine’s impact.
“I’m looking for the governor to look over the permits and make sure North Carolina law is followed,” Sheets said.
Daniels said he was told the only way to make an impression on the state’s highest office was to collect over 200 letters and deliver them en masse. If that doesn’t work, they have Plan B, according to Boulden.
“If we don’t receive any answers or contacts anytime soon, we’re going to start everyone calling,” Boulden said. “We’re going to want to know why we haven’t received an answer — good or bad — so we can know how to move forward. … August has come and gone; now they’re formulating responses, hopefully, and now we’ll see what they’re going to do.”