In a hearing today, a superior court judge in Beaufort County ruled that citizens do have the right to ask the courts to enforce the laws when the state fails to do so. This reverses an earlier decision denying citizens concerned about the health of North Carolina’s Blounts Creek right to challenge a state permit authorizing its destruction. The NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources granted Martin Marietta a permit to discharge 12 millions of gallons a day of mining wastewater into the popular fishing creek. SELC represents Sound Rivers and North Carolina Coastal Federation before the court. Residents and visitors from across the state have been vocal in their opposition of the permit.
The judge ordered the case go back before a lower court to be reconsidered in a full hearing. No date has been set yet for the next hearing.