Legal proceedings: the April update (Martin Marietta)

Published 8:21 pm Saturday, April 5, 2014

My last update concerning Martin Marietta Materials (MMM) was published in November of last year. In light of the significant environmental damage caused to the Dan River recently, I would like to begin this update with the last paragraph I wrote in November.

“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?”

You don’t need to have 20/20 vision to see the unfortunate similarity between the Dan River and Blounts Creek — the only difference is that the Dan River was impacted much more quickly than our beautiful creek will be. Now our “leaders” at NCDENR will need to “fix” the Dan River problem — lawsuits are pending. Is that really a “fix”?

Now for the update: Last month, Jimmy Daniels and I testified in depositions as members of the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation. We testified about the long-term damage that dumping the mine’s wastewater into Blounts Creek will do to our creek. We also testified about the damage that would do to our businesses, Cotton Patch Landing and Marine, and Miss Bea Charters. The legal process is moving along, with a hearing likely to occur this summer.

While the legal process is moving along at a snail’s pace, there is one good thing to report — as recently as a few weeks ago, an airplane flew over the MMM site and observed no excavation. Apparently, MMM can start developing the quarry whenever they like, even with the outcome of the legal battle pending, but to date has chosen not to proceed. Hopefully, it won’t be another five months before my next update. Thank you for your continued interest in this matter!

Bob Boulden is a Blounts Creek resident and owner of Miss Bea Charters.