The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

February 22, 2013

Martin Marietta Materials plans to dump into Blounts Creek

Tight Lines
Rick Goines

TARBORO — Martin Marietta Materials has applied for a discharge permit to dump groundwater and stormwater directly into Blounts Creek. One person close to the situation tells me we are talking about 12 million gallons of discharge a day. I don’t profess to be an expert on the matter, but that doesn’t sound really healthy, or harmless, for the environment, and specifically Blounts Creek. (Filed documents say the average discharge would be about 9 million gallons a day, but could increase to 11 million on some days.)

Blounts Creek is about 10 miles southeast of Washington, just east of NC 33. It runs about five-miles long, northward to the Pamlico River at Blounts Bay. Dozens of smaller tributaries, running through pine forests and farmland, empty into it. A pristine estuary and fishery, it’s a beautiful gem unspoiled by commercial development. If you have been to BSA Camp Bonner, you crossed Blounts Creek, at its mouth at Blounts Bay, which is an impressive sight!

Concerned citizens, who live and fish in and around Blounts Creek, are up-in-arms about the proposal, as you can imagine. I have been hearing about this from Bob Daw for quite some time. Bob and I have been trying to coordinate a visit so he can give me a firsthand look at the situation.

A public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 14 at Beaufort County Community College, Building 8-Auditorium. The address is 5337 Highway 264 East, Washington. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for speaker registration and sign-in.

If you are familiar with the Blounts Creek area and concerned about this situation, now might be the time to act. Maybe you have never seen or heard of Blounts Creek, but are concerned about this potential disaster. If so, this might be a good time to draw that line in the sand. Being good stewards of our Earth require the attention and diligence of everyone.

For more information how you can get involved and help, contact Bob Boulden at 252-402-5564, or you may e-mail him at

On a personal but related note, my son-in-law, Robert Hartsell, is an environmental attorney in South Florida. I call him the protector of the Everglades. He does some very good work down there protecting and preserving the environment for my “Grands” and yours. I am very proud of him and his accomplishments.

 Rick’s Soapbox – Coming straight from the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school of thought, the leadership of TASS (Tarboro Association of Saltwater Sportsman) shall remain in the very capable hands of David Mears in 2013. Under David’s tutelage the past two years, TASS has thrived. It seems every tournament and event only gets bigger and better, year after year, and that success starts at the top. Atta-boy, David!

Tight Lines welcomes your stories, fish snaps, tall tales, and even your outrageous lies at

See you on the water, my friend!