A state court recently vacated a state permit that would have allowed a mining firm to discharge wastewater into Blounts Creek. The millions of gallons of discharge would have changed the flow and habitat of the creek, severely altering a popular fishing spot.

The North Carolina Coastal Federation and Sound Rivers were represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) in contesting the permit, which was issued by the North Carolina Division of Water Resources. In 2016, a state administrative court upheld the permit. That decision was reversed by the December 2017 ruling by the Carteret County Superior County, which found that community had the right to challenge the permit because it did not maintain the integrity of the creek.

“This ruling affirms the fundamental requirements of our state and federal water quality laws that require state agencies to protect the biological integrity, fish and wildlife of our coastal creeks and sounds,” said Todd Miller in SELC’s press release.

Read the full SELC press release here.