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Letters to the Governor (Martin Marietta), November update

Published 8:12pm Saturday, November 9, 2013

By Capt. Bob Boulden

As you may recall we carried your letters expressing concern to Raleigh and deposited them in the Governor’s outer office with Wanda more nearly two months ago. These letters told Gov. McCrory our concerns about the National Pollution Elimination Discharge System permit granted to Martin Marietta Materials to discharge 12 million gallons of fresh water per day into the headwaters of Blounts Creek.

We did not receive an answer from the Governor after waiting nearly two months. Apparently, he thought it best for N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Skvarla to respond to our letters.  After receiving my U.S. Mail copy of the letter late last month it took three calls to Skvarla’s office before they finally provided the link where you may read the “Governor’s” response: http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/journal/view_article_content?groupId=4711509&articleId=16601867

In my opinion it is a lovely, well-written letter that re-emphasizes everything the DENR has previously stated and bases most responses on the consultant’s data provided to MMM.  Eight bullet points are listed identifying how the draft permit was modified to make the final permit more stringent.  Unfortunately, many of the items listed are monitoring requirements that will be collected by MMM.  I’ve not seen any indication the DENR will collect unannounced, random samples.  If there is a positive side to the letter, it states that the permit can be modified or terminated. Unfortunately, this may only occur after the creek has been adversely impacted.  While the letter indicates that public comments were considered I feel reasonably certain they didn’t read my letter — representatives called me for my mailing address, which was included in my letter to the Governor.

It appears to me the consensus from Raleigh is “everything will be fine” and if anything happens to Blounts Creek they will “fix” it after it happens — not a very proactive approach. Haven’t we heard this before?

Capt. Bob Boulden owns Miss Bea’s Charters and is a resident of Blounts Creek.

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