Wednesday, March 6, 2013

On March 14, 2013, the North Carolina Division of Water Quality will hold a meeting to seek public comment on a limestone quarry that is proposed for construction in the watershed of Blounts Creek, a tributary of the Pamlico River in Beaufort County. The Coastal Fisheries Reform Group urges individuals concerned about water quality and particularly those who fish to attend this meeting and speak out in opposition to this planned quarry for the following reasons:
1. The quarry will pump 9 million gallons of water per day from the aquifer in order to wash rocks. Our aquifers have gotten dangerously low and the removal of this much water on a permanent daily basis will be detrimental.
2. The quarry will dispose of its 9 million gallons of wash water every day by dumping it into feeder streams that lead into the headwaters of Blounts Creek and ultimately into the Pamlico River. This will cause a major ecological change in this area due to both the alteration of pH and the influx of fresh water. The Pamlico River is already challenged by the infusion of fresh water from the phosphate mine a short distance downstream from Blounts Creek.
Many species of important estuarine fish, including striped bass, speckled sea trout, and red drum, spawn and are nurtured in the sheltered waters of Blounts Creek. These fish spend much of their life cycle in Blounts Creek and surrounding estuarine and fresh waters. Blounts Creek is a productive and popular fishing and recreational area. The huge influx of waste water from the aquifer every day will change the fragile and productive ecology of Blounts Creek and surrounding waters. Another important factor to consider is the very low turnover rate of water in Blounts Creek due to its narrow opening into the Pamlico River. This fact increases the adverse impact of the large freshwater influx from the proposed quarry and any toxic spill from the quarry will be devastating as it concentrates in the bay. The adverse affects of spills will be virtually impossible to remediate.
It is imperative that anyone who is interested in the health of Blounts Creek attend this meeting to speak or send written comments to: NC Division of Water Quality, Wetlands and Storm Water Branch, 1650 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1650. Attn: Cyndi Karoly.
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Meeting time and location: Thursday March 14, 2013, beginning at 7:00 pm at the Beaufort County Community College, Building 8-Auditorium, 5337 Highway 264 East, Washington, NC 27889. Doors will open at 6:00 pm for speaker registration and sign-in.
For more information go to: