Environmental groups blocked a 38-acre development on Hatteras Island that would have damaged wetlands and shellfishing waters in the Pamlico Sound.

Last summer, an administrative law judge had given the green light to a coastal stormwater permit for a new phase of the Wind Over Waves development comprising 57 large vacation rental houses near Salvo. In reversing the decision, the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission said that it is unlawful to issue a coastal stormwater permit that does not protect water quality or existing uses of waters, such as shellfishing, even if the permit otherwise complies with current regulations.

Inadequate state controls on polluted stormwater runoff have been a longstanding problem in coastal North Carolina, where weak regulations have led to the closure of more than 56,000 acres of shellfish grounds in the last 15 years.

More info: southernenvironment.org