Despite not being on the ballot, President Obama posted a big Super Tuesday victory in North Carolina this year. March has been another good month for our much-maligned Community Organizer-in-Chief, for Stop Titan, Ocean Alliance and community activists everywhere—even for 2009 Nobel Laureate in Economics, Elinor Ostrom.
Todd Miller: In North Carolina, Plenty Remains to Be Done As Titan Calls It Quits -- Louis Bacon, March 17, 2016
Eight years ago a business lobbyist who had formerly worked for then N.C. Governor Mike Easley called just as I was leaving the office for the day. He said he wanted to give me a “heads-up” that a major new industry was about to announce plans to locate in Wilmington, and that it would be a wonderful economic stimulus for southeastern N.C. He assured me that the company would be a good coastal steward, and encouraged the North Carolina Coastal Federation to welcome the project.
CASTLE HAYNE, N.C. -- Some residents in Castle Hayne are celebrating Titan America’s decision not to build a cement plant there. The company's CEO said the reason they have decided to pull out is driven by project economics. Costs to build a new plant have risen in the past few years, however they still own the property. That has some residents worried the company may change their mind in the future.
Titan America: Market conditions, escalating costs quell N.C. greenfield mill -- Mining Media International: Concrete Products, March 14, 2016
After years of permitting and pre-construction activities, Titan America has shelved plans for a Castle Hayne, N.C., cement plant with up to 2 million tons’ annual capacity, but will maintain a terminal on the site, located just outside the coastal town of Wilmington.
NC_Wilmington - The debate over the cement plant proposed for northern New Hanover County is over. Debate over issues surrounding the plant will -- and we think, should -- continue. Few economic and environmental issues have sparked as much controversy as Titan America’s plan -- announced in 2008 -- to manufacture cement at a facility along the Northeast Cape Fear River in Castle Hayne.
Castle Hayne, N.C. — After years of wrangling with neighbors and environmental groups over plans to build a cement plant near Wilmington, Titan America LLC has finally thrown in the towel. Titan announced Thursday that it was abandoning the idea of a new cement plant in Castle Hayne, citing the cost of getting the plant up and running, a slowdown in the domestic market and global competition.
Local environmental groups, residents happy with Titan announcement -- Port City Daily , March 11, 2016
A call to the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s coastal advocate Mike Giles on Thursday afternoon found him in a jubilant mood. “I’m having a great day!” he said. That’s because Titan America, a company that manufactures building materials, announced earlier in the day that they were pulling out of a cement plant project in Castle Hayne. “It’s the best news I’ve heard in eight years,” Giles said.1 He’s not the only one excited about the news. Other environmental groups are calling it a win for the citizens of the area. “It’s great news for New Hanover County for sure,” said Kemp Burdette, Cape Fear Riverkeeper and Executive Director of Cape Fear River Watch. “It would’ve been a pretty awful project for New Hanover County.”
CASTLE HAYNE – Titan America’s unexpected announcement yesterday that it was abandoning its controversial plans to build a cement plant here was welcome news to opponents who have been fighting the plans for almost a decade.
Though Titan's Out Of Picture For Now, Special Use Permit Concerns Remain -- Wilmington Biz, March 11, 2016
While one controversy is over for now, a related debate remains. Now that the name “Titan” will likely exit conversations about economic development, the term “Special Use Permit” as it relates to potential industrial projects and job creation, continues to be a source of concern.
Titan America announces that economics no longer support new cement plant -- World Cement, March 11, 2016
Titan America LLC has announced that project economics no longer support the construction of a cement plant in Castle Hayne, NC. According to company officials, the evolution of supply and demand balances in the specific regional market no longer support the significant cost involved in constructing a new cement plant.
According to the latest report by Reuters, Titan reported a fourth-quarter loss on 10 March, damaged by an impairment charge for stopping the construction of a plant in the United States. The company made a loss of €2.4 million in the final quarter of 2015 compared to a profit of €0.4 million during the same period in 2014. Titan announced that it booked a €12.4 million charge last year, after halting the construction of the cement plant in North Carolina, in the United States.
CASTLE HAYNE -- The morning after an announcement that Titan America LLC would abandon plans for a Castle Hayne cement plant, it was business as usual at the company's site off Holly Shelter Road. Trucks rolled down an all-cement road to a terminal facility -- run by Titan subsidiary Carolinas Cement Company -- and nothing there hinted at the eight-year battle that had unexpectedly ended the day before.
US: Titan America has cancelled the construction of a cement plant in Castle Hayne, North Carolina. It said it made the decision on economic reasons. Supply and demand balances in the specific regional markets did not support the cost of building a plant.
Company abandons plans for polluting cement plant in eastern North Carolina -- Sothern Environmental Law Center, March 10, 2016
In a major development for a longstanding threat to North Carolina's coastal communities, Titan America Cement has abandoned its plans to build a new cement plant that would have been a major source of air pollution in New Hanover and Pender counties with significant health impacts.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Titan America LLC said they no longer have plans to build a plant in New Hanover County. According to the news release, they cite economics as a reason they no longer plan to build the cement plant. Company leaders said the supply and demand don’t support the cost of building a new plant.
Titan America today announced that it would abandon controversial plans to build a cement processing plant in Castle Hayne, as the company said the economics behind building the plant did not support the high cost of construction. Meanwhile, environmental groups hailed the decision as a victory for those who fought construction of the plant on concerns over pollution.
CASTLE HAYNE -- Titan America on Thursday announced it was pulling the plug on its proposed cement plant in Castle Hayne -- a project it had been pursuing since 2008. The company, in a release, said “project economics no longer support the construction of a cement plant.”
Titan America LLC Announces That Economics No Longer Support Building of New Cement Plant in Castle Hayne, NC -- Business Wire, March 10, 2016
NORFOLK, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Titan America LLC announced today that project economics no longer support the construction of a cement plant in Castle Hayne, NC. According to company officials, the evolution of supply and demand balances in the specific regional markets does not support the relatively high cost of constructing a new cement plant.
After years of negotiations and legal battles, Titan America LLC announced today that they are pulling out of a project that would have brought a new cement plant to Castle Hayne. According to a news release, economics was the main factor in the company’s decision.
Titan America pulls plug on plan for $450 million cement plant in North Carolina -- Triangle Business Journal , March 10, 2016
One of the country’s largest cement and concrete producers, Titan America, announced on Thursday that it is canceling plans to build a $450 million cement production facility near Castle Hayne in northern New Hanover County, a project that had been in the works for more than eight years.
Titan Cement pulls plug on new facility in Castle Hayne; opponents of project declare victory -- WHQR-FM, March 10, 2016
Titan Cement has scrapped its plans to build a new cement manufacturing facility in northern New Hanover County. In a statement released midday on Thursday, Titan America's CEO, Bill Zarkalis, said basic economics no longer support the project. That’s partly because the cost to construct a new cement plant in the United States has risen substantially in the past few years, according to the statement, and new coastal capacity in North Carolina could erode the market with cement imports – likely, says Zarkalis, because of the strong U.S. dollar, the global cement supply, and low ocean freight costs.
A company that has been at the heart of an economic development controversy for several years has decided not to pursue its plans to build a facility in New Hanover County. Titan America LLC officials announced Thursday that the firm will "suspend construction" of its proposed cement plant in Castle Hayne. The project no longer makes financial sense for the company, officials said.
CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WECT) - Titan America announced Thursday that it is shutting down plans to build a years in the making cement plant because, "project economics no longer support the construction of a cement plant in Castle Hayne."
More than three million N.C. residents rely on groundwater as their primary drinking-water supply. In the state’s coastal plain, 55 percent of the population depends on groundwater for drinking, according to the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service. More than four million N.C. residents rely on surface-water supplies, according to the state Division of Water Resources. Groundwater and surface water are connected.
"BRADY, Texas - The Brady City Council voted to authorize two proposed sales tax rebate incentives for a proposed cement plant that would be built in McCulloch County, during a meeting Tuesday."
"It’s another stellar day for North Carolina’s intentionally weak environmental regulators. After clearly showing a disinterest in public input that questions industrial pollution or the potential thereof, the state Department of Environmental Quality now faces a takeover of the state’s regulatory program by the federal Environmental Protection Agency."
“Water, water every where … nor any drop to drink,” goes the famous verse from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. With increasing demands on the lower Cape Fear region’s surface and groundwater supplies, some officials are concerned that, despite being surrounded by water, the area could see inadequate water resources to support growth if they don’t take steps soon.
"The region’s economy gets high marks in some areas but shows room for improvement in others, including a lack of large businesses that produce goods and services to be sold elsewhere, officials said Tuesday as they presented the first Wilmington Regional Economic Scorecard."
Pressure builds on NC governor to veto far-reaching anti-environmental bill -- Facing South , October 20, 2015
"Environmental advocates in North Carolina are stepping up pressure on Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to veto a bill they say is the most anti-environmental of the 2015 legislative session — and possibly of McCrory's tenure"
Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollution May Pose Risk to Brain Structure, Cognitive Functions -- May 19, 2015
Air pollution, even at moderate levels, has long been recognized as a factor in raising the risk of stroke. A new study led by scientists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine suggests that long-term exposure can cause damage to brain structures and impair cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults.
Environmental advocates are appealing a lower court ruling they say prevents North Carolina residents from challenging air quality permits issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The March 25 Superior Court ruling “has no basis in existing law,” said Geoff Gisler, a lawyer with the Southern Environmental Law Center. The center represents the N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Fear River Watch, the N.C. Sierra Club and Pender Watch and Conservancy.
A cement maker that’s been working for years to build a plant in New Hanover County is responding to the latest legal challenge trying to stop it. Yesterday the Southern Environmental Law Center announced it will appeal on behalf of several other environmental action groups what it called a judge’s ruling that would deny people the right to challenge air pollution permits.
Environmental activists are taking another stand against a cement plant coming to Wilmington. The Southern Environmental Law Center, SELC, says they will appeal a judge’s ruling that would deny folks the right to challenge air pollution permits. It’s a ruling that would effectively end challenges to the proposed Titan Cement plant in New Hanover County.
The Southern Environmental Law Center Monday appealed a court decision that environmental groups say muzzles residents from challenging state-issued air permits.
A doe and her spotted fawn wade through shallow waters. An owl swoops over brush. A black bear cub scales a tree. Photo Galleries Trail Cam Those images of wildlife are among 50,000 photographs captured during a two-year project centered on the Northeast Cape Fear River. The collaboration between the N.C. Coastal Federation, the Cape Fear River Watch and the Wildlands Network aims to attract interest in the importance of the Northeast Cape Fear River, said Mike Giles, a coastal advocate with the federation.
Since 2011, no one has received the special use permit required, in some cases, to establish a business in New Hanover County’s unincorporated industrial zones. But despite the failure of efforts last year to change the county’s special use permit ordinance adopted in 2011, the issue remains a topic of conversation and debate among members of the local business community and other area stakeholders.
Labored breathing as NC lawmakers seek to relax air pollution rules -- News & Observer, April 10, 2015
As we sat in the audience of the NC BREATHE Conference in Raleigh a few weeks ago, we sensed a certain amount of schizophrenia between the science and policy of air pollution in North Carolina. On the one hand, we were surrounded by physicians and scientists who relayed data about the link between air pollution and common human ailments such as asthma, emphysema and pneumonia and who talked about the state-led, bipartisan innovation – the NC Clean Smokestacks Act – that connected science and policy and resulted in reduced emissions, cleaner air and better public, environmental and economic health.
This is pollen season in North Carolina. You can go outside and write your name in yellow on your car window or picnic table. Take a deep breath and, after you cough, realize that should the Titan cement plant go on line, you will be breathing not only pollen each spring, but their ... air contaminates all year long!
Down in Castle Hayne, North Carolina, on the Cape Fear River, there’s a dark cloud looming. The air here is crisp and salty, just a few miles from stunning beaches. The folks who live in the area depend largely on tourism for their livelihoods, whether they run fishing boats, hair salons or auto repair shops.
N.C. Coastal Federation cruises the Northeast Cape Fear River, talks economic development -- WECT, March 31, 2015
The North Carolina Coastal Federation plans to take several members of the public on special boat trips up the Northeast Cape Fear River this week. Mike Giles, an advocate for the federation, said that the purpose of the trips is to discuss the potential environmental impact of new industries coming to the area, as well as the importance of the river.
Noting that everyone likes the beach and ocean, coastal advocate Mike Giles pointed out of the boat to the Northeast Cape Fear River.
House Bill 186 directs a study of North Carolina's water needs and availability over the next 50 years and is a smart and timely call for action. Potable water is becoming an increasing challenge for local N.C. governments and a growing population.
Proposal calls for study of Cape Fear River water usages, future demands -- Star News, March 17, 2015
As communities grow throughout the Cape Fear River basin, a bill recently introduced in the N.C. General Assembly calls for a study of how rising water demands will affect the basin's long-term supply.
Duke Energy is now facing multiple criminal charges for years of alleged illegal pollution from coal-ash dumps at five North Carolina plants. Federal prosecutors have validated what the riverkeepers have been saying for years, and Duke is finally being held accountable … That is a good first step.
Marion Kreh wants to see agriculture remain in the Castle Hayne area. Emerson Whitted hopes to see more recreational areas in the northern end of New Hanover County so kids aren't playing in the streets. JoAnn Swart also stresses the importance of more recreational sites in that area. MaryAnn Werner wants to see Castle Hayne given the opportunity to grow while maintaining its low-density character.
EPA Launches Investigation of North Carolina for Civil Rights Violations -- Waterkeeper Alliance, February 25, 2015
Late last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced that it has accepted a complaint filed against the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and will proceed with an investigation of the State agency.
CoastLine: Unpacking Three Comprehensive Plans - City, County, Tri-County Region -- WHQR, January 28, 2015
Three Comprehensive Plans are simultaneously taking shape in the Cape Fear region. The tri-county region, made up of Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender County, is widely expected to undergo a steep upward trend in population over the next 25 years. Some estimates put the number at more than a quarter of a million new residents. What would happen if area leaders just allowed the region to grow by default? Without establishing any sort of comprehensive road map? There are smarter ways to grow, contend planning experts, which include plotting a course based on community values.
An effort to foster cooperation and pursue economic development policies that can be embraced by all sectors of the local community is underway. Organized by the N.C. Coastal Federation, a group of community representatives met for the first time Jan. 16 to discuss ways the county can direct economic development, including the current practice of awarding special use permits as well as alternatives to the special use permit.
Analysts: Mercury rule review could impact Duke Energy -- Charlotte Business Journal, January 14, 2015
Sanford C. Bernstein analysts say Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) numbers among the U.S. power companies that could benefit most if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down or significantly delays federal mercury standards it now has under review.
With the installation of two new county members of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners, it is time to ask Commissioners Skip Watkins and Rob Zapple their position on Titan Cement.
Whether learning which native plants to use in a backyard garden or how to effectively engage elected officials, a second year of the Coastal Speakers Series at the N.C. Coastal Federation’s Wrightsville Beach office aims to outfit local citizens with the information needed to enact change.
At Monday's New Hanover County Commissioners meeting it took almost no time for partisan politics to become business as usual again. Commissioner Beth Dawson reached across party lines in the spirit of doing what is best for the community and not necessarily what is best for a political party by nominating Jonathan Barfield as chairman.
Sen.-elect Thom Tillis was clear about his top priority in a recent interview with the Associated Press: "I think most of my focus will be very similar to our focus when we first came into the legislature — get the regulatory environment back to a level where the cost of doing business and the uncertainty is reduced ..."
Down in Castle Hayne, North Carolina, on the Cape Fear River, there’s a dark cloud looming. The air here is crisp and salty, just a few miles from stunning beaches. The folks who live in the area depend largely on tourism for their livelihoods, whether they run fishing boats, hair salons or auto repair shops.
CoastLine: NHC's Special Use Permit - Environmental Gatekeeper or Economic Liability? -- WHQR, November 19, 2014
The Special Use Permit is only about three years old in New Hanover County. Since its creation in 2011, it’s served as a gatekeeper – giving local officials the final say over whether an industry can set up shop within the County. But the County recently paid nearly 100-hundred thousand dollars for an economic development study entitled Pathways to Prosperity: New Hanover County’s Plan for Jobs and Investment. Also known as The Garner Report, the study concludes that the SUP is a major deterrent to potential investment.
Saltwater has migrated inland into freshwater aquifers that supply hundreds of private and public wells in the New Hanover County area, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report. Water levels in some areas of the aquifers from which residents, businesses and industries in the county draw their drinking water have also dropped several feet below sea level, according to the recently released study initiated by the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.
Opinion: Protecting Water Strengthens American Economy -- Greater Wilmington Business Journal, October 29, 2014
Water sustains a strong American economy. Streams and wetlands are crucial for fishing, hunting, tourism, agriculture, recreation, energy, and manufacturing—and businesses depend on clean water for basic operations. Without Clean Water Act protections, there's often nothing stopping sewage, toxic chemicals, or other harmful pollutants from threatening our waterways—not just lakes and rivers, but the streams and wetlands that feed them.
Wilmington Riverfront Garners Top Spot In National USA Today Contest -- Greater Wilmington Business Journal, October 22, 2014
Wilmington was rollin' on the river Wednesday with the announcement from USA Today that it has been chosen America's Best Riverfront location in the publication's 10Best Readers' Choice travel award contest. "This prestigious 10Best Readers' Choice travel award shines a spotlight on Wilmington's vibrant riverfront with more than 200 shops, restaurants, attractions, tours and cruises within easy walking distance," officials with the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau said in a news release Wednesday.
Thursday’s Coastal Energy Summit drew a mix of protesters who converged on the downtown Wilmington Convention Center. Some were environmental advocates taking issue with companies represented at the summit and practices such as seismic testing and hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” Others were supporters of the local film industry who directed their ire at Gov. Pat McCrory.
Gov. McCrory at energy summit: ‘We need to participate in our energy independence’ -- Port City Daily, October 9, 2014
Untapped potential for oil and gas exploration and wind and solar energy in coastal North Carolina—both offshore and onshore—could significantly contribute to the country becoming energy self-reliant and breaking free of its dependence on foreign energy sources. But those industries face challenges in governmental policies, economic conditions and public perceptions to fully take advantage of those resources that are turning their attention to the Carolina coast.
Chants of “More film, less frack” and “Take pride in a clean tide” could be heard as about a hundred protesters looped around the Hanover Street cul-de-sac beside the Wilmington Convention Center on Oct. 9, where Gov. Pat McCrory was preparing to speak about offshore energy exploration at the 2014 Coastal Energy Summit. Wilmywood Daily blogger Sheila Brothers was one organizer behind the rally. A handful of groups, including the film industry, local education supporters, the Stop Titan Action Network and the University of North Carolina Wilmington Environmental Concerns Organization (ECO), joined forces over shared support for clean industry in Wilmington.
Nearly all of the candidates running for local office in New Hanover County met at the Senior Resource Center Tuesday night, taking part in candidate forums sponsored by WECT and the League of Women Voters of the Lower Cape Fear.
Four candidates competing for two seats on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners met Monday night in WHQR's MC Erny Gallery to distinguish themselves from their opponents. In preparation for the Candidate Forum, listeners emailed questions. The most-submitted question, hands-down: where do the candidates stand on the future of the Special Use Permit?
Candidates for New Hanover County Commission aired their views in a forum tonight. The four candidates are competing for two open seats on the commission. The forum was sponsored by WHQR and WWAY.
A cement company’s vow to adhere to stricter federal mercury emissions rules will not benefit the lower Cape Fear River, according to a university professor who has researched the water’s chemical contents. Steve Skrabal, a chemistry professor and associate director for education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington’s Center for Marine Science, said the mercury-impaired river does not need an additional mercury source.
For Castle Hayne air advocates, the most worrisome proposals from the Legislature came this year. State legislators proposed to eliminate all air monitors that are not specifically required by federal environmental regulators and to limit citizens' ability to challenge air permits in court, taking away two important tools used by citizens to challenge projects they deem risky to public health. The changes were never enacted.
I am a graduate student at UNCW. I moved to the Wilmington area for many of the same reasons that thousands of young adults flock here – the opportunity to receive an outstanding, environmentally focused education and a chance to find a job in this beautiful community. I came here with the naïve assumption that a vibrant coastal community would never be interested in tarnishing its own reputation nor damaging the health of its own communities and ecosystems.
North Carolina’s 2002 crackdown on power plant emissions may have saved 1,700 lives a decade later, UNC Chapel Hill researchers say. The Clean Smokestacks Act, adopted in 2002, was aimed at pollutants billowing from coal-fired power plants. Power plants are major sources of the fine sulfate particles the study targeted.
The time for study and brainstorming is done. Now Wilmington and New Hanover County leaders must lead – by acting decisively on a series of recommendations to spur economic growth and community investment. The taxpayers spent $100,000 for those recommendations, and they deserve their money's worth.
Coastal Federation To Fund Collaborative Look At Economic Development -- Greater Wilmington Business Journal, August 21, 2014
In anticipation of an effort by Wilmington and New Hanover County to move ahead on economic development recommendations from the "Pathways to Prosperity" Garner Report, the N.C. Coastal Federation wants to develop a model for that development process.
Environmentalists don't want to lose special use permits to New Hanover development -- WWAY, August 21, 2014
Environmentalists say New Hanover County should be able to improve economically without jeopardizing quality of life.
Local government representatives are joining with environmental advocates and business leaders to create an alternative to a controversial recommendation from the Garner economic development report. Instead of doing away with the special use permit process, they hope to cut the red tape for some industries.
Environmental activists, elected officials and a handful of area residents gathered in downtown Wilmington Tuesday morning to encourage support for a federal proposal to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.
Duke scientists report air pollution controls linked to lower NC death rates -- Charlotte Observer, June 23, 2014
Stronger emission controls in North Carolina may have saved lives by reducing deaths from respiratory illness, according to an academic study published Monday.
The StarNews took a Titan press release/conference and turned it into a front-page headline in the June 14 issue. As a longtime (18 years) subscriber, I am very disappointed. …
North Carolina ranks 9th for toxic waterways in the country -- Triangle Business Journal, June 19, 2014
Of 206 million pounds of toxic chemicals released into United States waterways in 2012, 8.8 million pounds of toxic chemicals were released into North Carolina’s waters.
Carolinas Cement Company announced plans to apply for a building permit to construct a cement packaging facility on the Castle Hayne site where the company intends to build one of the country’s largest cement production plants.
I am disappointed that after waiting about six months to, what I'll call, repair New Hanover County's Special Use Permit, the vote by the county commission ended in a tie and nothing changes.
Dear Editor, Titan Cement/Carolinas Cement has requested a building permit from New Hanover County to construct a packaging facility on their property in Castle Hayne. On the surface this request might seem innocent and trivial. I hope the community will remember that over 6 years ago, this company promised that they would not begin any construction until all of their permits are approved.
While the fate of a cement plant proposed for the site remains to be decided, the local subsidiary of Titan America is looking to build a packaging facility there in the meantime.
A request from Carolinas Cement Company to New Hanover County could result in creation of a $5 million packaging facility on Roanoke Cement Company’s site in Castle Hayne, according to a news release from the company Friday. Carolinas Cement is asking the county for a building permit to upfit and equip a large warehouse on its property so that it can package cement into bags for distribution, said Bob Odom, general manager of development for the Castle Hayne operation.
A unit of Titan America said Friday that it is applying for a building permit to construct a cement packaging facility in Castle Hayne. Carolinas Cement Co. plans to build a $5 million packaging facility on the site of an existing cement storage and handling terminal owned and operated by another Titan subsidiary, Roanoke Cement.
Editorial - AWOL Berger prolongs special-use issue; ‘revisions’ need more revision -- Star News, June 4, 2014
The lack of a clear resolution in the case of proposed revisions to New Hanover County’s industrial special-use permit requirement illustrates the damage that is done when one commissioner is not pulling his weight.
Revisions to the county’s special use permit failed to gain majority approval from the New Hanover County Board of Commission during a June 2 meeting after two dozen citizens signed up to speak on the changes. Planning and Zoning Director Chris O’Keefe said the changes would bring clarity to the permitting process while upholding the original intent of the permit. The New Hanover County Planning Board unanimously approved the revisions during a March 6 meeting.
New Hanover County could finally adopt a less stringent special use permit—or SUP—which is what industrial businesses need in order to operate. Tonight, after several months and multiple drafts, the county planning department is bringing its final version—which was unanimously approved by the planning board--before the county commission. But before they vote on it, citizens will be granted a public comment period. And, both champions and opponents of the new draft are anticipating big crowds and vehement participation.
Split votes result in no decisions on special-use permit, Porters Neck development -- Port City Daily, June 2, 2014
An evenly divided, even-numbered board of New Hanover County commissioners resulted in no clear decisions Monday on two high-profile items of business: a planned mixed-use development in the Porters Neck area, and proposed revisions to the county’s process for awarding special-use permits for industrial uses.
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners voted 2-2 on amendments to the county's special-use permit process, after more than two hours of discussion Monday night. The split vote means that the changes did not pass.
Special-use permit, Porters Neck development on county agenda Monday -- Port City Daily, June 1, 2014
Two hotly debated items of business, both continued from meetings earlier this year, will be revisited at Monday’s meeting of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. New Hanover County Historic Courthouse. Photo by Jonathan Spiers. Monday’s meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the New Hanover County Historic Courthouse, 24 N. Third St. in downtown Wilmington. Proposed revisions to the county’s process for awarding special-use permits are on the agenda, two months after County Manager Chris Coudriet recommended more time for commissioners to review the proposals.
Letter to the Editor - New Hanover County Special Use Permit (SUP) - Not Ready to be Voted On -- Star News, May 30, 2014
It's hard to believe that anyone would undermine an industrial SUP that benefits our community. Heck restaurants and dry cleaners undergo SUPs. 90% of the counties that contribute to North Carolina's GDP have Special Use Permits for heavy industry. New Hanover County should too.
A public hearing on the special use permitting in New Hanover County will be held during the NHC Board of County Commissioner's Monday evening. At their agenda briefing Thursday afternoon, the commissioners spoke about changes to the permitting process.
New Hanover County adopted a Special Use Permit (SUP) for industry in 2011. This zoning revision was the first improvement in almost 40 years. With pressure from business groups New Hanover County Planning Board and Staff will offer major revisions for the County Commissioners vote on June 2nd. The 2011 SUP was not perfect and might require minor clarifications but now is not the time for major revisions.
The N.C. General Assembly got down to business in its first full week of the short session with the state Senate pushing through key environmental bills, including a sweeping 62-page set of regulatory changes that would limit people’s ability to challenge air and coastal development permits, virtually eliminate state protection of certain wetlands and allow the governor to bypass environmental safeguards in rebuilding coastal roads during an emergency.
The state would set a deadline for Duke Energy to submit cleanup plans for four major North Carolina coal ash sites, including the Sutton Power Plant in New Hanover County, under a proposal developed by the Gov. Pat McCrory and introduced yesterday on the opening day of the legislative short session.
As the NHC Commissioners consider revisions to the Special Use Permit in June, I pray our family’s story gives them a reason to protect the SUP. I am the mother of three children all born with asthma. My oldest has severe persistent asthma and my younger two have moderate persistent asthma. Our story began seven years ago when the medical management of their asthma was failing.
The recommendation by Garner Economics to eliminate New Hanover County’s Special Use Permit to further economic development is puzzling. By the County’s definition a special use is one that must be regulated to “promote public health, safety, morals, or general welfare” in the County. How can that stymie economic development? It clearly supports healthy development.
Eight months after announcing a joint effort to refine their economic development efforts, New Hanover County commissioners and Wilmington City Council will receive a key component of that effort—an analysis of the area’s economic allure—in a special meeting today at 2 p.m.
County taking more time on proposed permitting changes; hearing delayed until June -- Port City Daily, April 1, 2014
New Hanover County will take two more months to review proposed changes to its special-use process before presenting them to commissioners for their consideration. The first of several pages of an overview of proposed revisions to New Hanover County's special-use-permitting process. The first of several pages of an overview of proposed revisions to New Hanover County’s special-use-permitting process. A public hearing that was scheduled for the board’s next meeting has been continued to June 2 at the request of the county manager, who contends more time is warranted for commissioners to review the proposed changes before considering them for potential approval.
Mining operations at a proposed cement manufacturing plant in Castle Hayne could have far-reaching impacts on groundwater supplies in New Hanover County, according to a review sponsored by the N.C. Coastal Federation.
Land, water and people who live within at least a 23-mile radius of the proposed Titan strip mine and furnace – including gated communities and private islands – will, for the next 30-plus years, have to endure the effects of a fine poisonous powder wafting from Titan’s smokestack.
“People come and go so quickly here!” says Dorothy Gale in “The Wizard of Oz.” It is starting to feel that way around here. We are no longer a sleepy little town at the end of a small state highway. I-40 changed that in the late ‘80s, and now life is dramatically different. How does one keep abreast of all that is important in our fair community—let alone our beautiful state?
A state lawsuit challenging stricter federal limits on a type of harmful air pollutant was filed three years too late, according to lawyers for three N.C. environmental groups. The N.C. Coastal Federation, the Clean Air Carolina and the Western North Carolina Alliance filed a motion on Thursday asking the federal appeals court in Washington to dismiss the state Department of Environmental and Natural Resources’ lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The groups are represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center.
Editorial - Legislature shouldn't let corportate lobbyists write state laws -- Star News, March 18, 2014
Thanks to dogged reporting by the Associated Press, we now know just how active Duke Energy lobbyists have been in crafting state law. According to the AP report, which culled the information from documents and interviews, Duke lobbyists convinced Republican lawmakers last year to "tweak" a state law to save the utility from the cost of cleaning up coal-ash ponds that have a tendency to leak toxic metals into the groundwater.
As a physician opposed to the proposed Titan Cement plant, this story gives me more reason to continue to oppose the project because of its risks to public health and the environment. If you think, as Titan executives are quick to say, that state law will protect you with existing regulations and they should be allowed to do business as proposed, read the article.
You've got to be kidding. That's a natural first reaction to Duke Energy's insistence that customers pay the estimated $1 billion cost of digging up and reburying coal ash stored in ponds at 14 sites. How arrogant of this $50 billion company to try to saddle customers with the cost of fixing its flagrant mistakes.
The New Hanover County Planning Board approved revisions to the county's special-use permit process Thursday night, but chose a version created by one of its own instead of the county staff. After two hours of discussion, the board voted to go with revisions drafted by board member Ted Shipley. Board member Tamara Murphy was not in attendance and former member Andy Heath resigned last week.
After two hours of discussion and debate, the New Hanover County Planning Board approved text edits for its Special Use Permit (SUP) legislation. The debate has been going for months. The topic was tabled at a public hearing in January and then postponed a second time due to inclement weather.
Planning Board Recommends Changes to SUP Application Process--Including More Public Hearings -- WHQR, March 7, 2014
Industrial businesses looking to call New Hanover County home may soon be required to hold public meetings as part of the special use permit -- or SUP – process. And the SUP is what they need to launch or expand operations. This is one among several changes that the county planning board unanimously recommended at last night’s public hearing on the most recent SUP draft—an update of a version that was tabled in January. And community stakeholders on both sides of the issue—business leaders and environmental advocates—say this new draft presents a compromise they can live with.
After a two-hour discussion and several additional changes, text amendments to the special use permit zoning ordinances will head before the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners for a final decision. New Hanover County Planning Board Member Ted Shipley wrote his own draft, differing from the staff’s revised draft of the text amendment. Shipley’s draft was made available shortly before the meeting and was approved unanimously, 5-0, with multiple revisions by planning staff and board members during the end of the first March 6 meeting agenda item.
County to revisit special-use-permit process revisions in hearing tonight -- Port City Daily, March 6, 2014
The New Hanover County Planning Board will revisit proposed revisions to the process for awarding special-use permits in a second public hearing scheduled tonight. The board faced a packed house and heard from more than a dozen speakers in an initial public hearing held in January. In light of comments received that night and in the weeks that followed, the proposal was continued to this month’s meeting, to be held at 6 p.m. at the New Hanover County Historic Courthouse.
Planning board endorses revised special-use process, industry requirements -- Port City Daily, March 6, 2014
Despite opposition and repeated requests for delay, the New Hanover County Planning Board voted unanimously Thursday night to recommend adoption of proposed changes to the county’s process for awarding special-use permits, including those required for industrial uses. After two hours’ worth of discussion that included a hearing continued from its January meeting, the board endorsed changes that included the removal of a provision requiring applicants to list significant impacts their industry could cause on the community and the environment.
North Carolina can be both "customer friendly" and a staunch environmental watchdog, but the latter requires an administration that empowers professional employees to enforce the rules vigorously and without fear of stepping on the wrong toes.
Anyone who is interested in preserving the water and air quality that we currently enjoy should step forward and get involved in the county planning process. I understand that sitting through public meetings can be tedious at times, but we owe it to ourselves and future generations to make our concerns known to our elected and appointed officials.
In the last few days I have had conversations with several individuals regarding the proposed changes in the Special Use Permit Process for permitting new industries in our area. This item is on the agenda for the New Hanover County Planning Board this Thursday night. In the course of these discussions I have heard very valid concerns brought up by intelligent business and environmental interests. It would be very disturbing if the powers that be choose to ignore these and pass the regulation as currently proposed.
State environmental regulators have accused Duke Energy of mishandling coal ash storage at five more power plants, including the Sutton plant just north of Wilmington. The plants don't have federal permits to discharge stormwater, according to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The alleged violations were issued late Friday, according to the agency.
Op-Ed by Kemp Burdette: Industry has made weakening environmental regulations top priority -- Star News, February 25, 2014
It's clear that industry has made weakening environmental regulations a top priority – because weak regulations mean more industry profits.
Environmental regulators have asked a federal judge to block environmental groups from intervening in a state lawsuit that challenges stricter federal limits on a type of harmful air pollutant. The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources earlier this week requested the federal appeals court in Washington bar Clean Air Carolina, the N.C. Coastal Federation and Western North Carolina Alliance from intervening in support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
As a lover of the Cape Fear area since childhood, I just had to try and get my thoughts out about the Titan Cement Plant. Even though I don't get to go to Wilmington very much anymore, I'd hate to see the place marred by such an industrial polluter as this. I think about the birds and the wetlands, not to mention the people that could be harmed, and I just don't want to see it. I'd just like to say that, as a person whose fondest memories come from being around the Cape Fear, I support any efforts against the building of the Titan Plant.
When the blame game is over for the Dan River spill, there won’t be a winner. The question will become what steps can we, the residents of the Cape Fear Region, take to advert another disaster at Sutton and 14 other ticking time bombs across the state. We must support legislators who already back a safer Cape Fear River. State Senator Tom Apodaca and Representative Chuck McGrady have pledged to sponsor legislation to remove coal ash dumps. But what about our representatives?
Family owned Hilton Properties Limited Partnership is looking to rezone 62 acres off Castle Hayne Road to allow for a sand mine operation – a proposal that has nearby residents up in arms. Hilton Properties in conjunction with Sledge Industries is seeking conditional-use rezoning from rural agricultural to heavy industrial and a special-use permit from New Hanover County to operate a sand mine at 4117 Castle Hayne Road.
For most people, sand mining is an invisible step in the construction process. The mining is typically tucked away in industrial corridors, and the sand is used in construction projects long before the first viewing of a building takes shape, keeping sand mines out of sight and out of mind.
Plans for a sand mine in the Castle Hayne area have been held off a month, if not longer, as the New Hanover County Planning Board wants more information on the proposed operation and its potential impacts. At their meeting Thursday night, board members said they like the idea of a sand mine in the location proposed—a 63-acre site in the middle of a 4,000-acre woodland tract northwest of the GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy facility—but they said more details are needed before an approval could be granted, opting instead to continue the request over a 60-day period.
After listening to passionate arguments from both sides, the New Hanover County Planning Board ultimately postponed a decision on a new sand mine in Castle Hayne, citing a lack of information.
Two families have preserved more than 2,300 acres of forestland along the Northeast Cape Fear River in northern Pender County, the N.C. Coastal Land Trust announced yesterday.
Hearing on special-use changes for New Hanover delayed to March -- Port City Daily, February 1, 2014
The debate over how New Hanover County awards special-use permits for specific land uses will continue for at least one more month. A hearing scheduled for next Thursday’s meeting of the county planning board has been rescheduled for the board’s regular meeting in March, according to a notice released Friday afternoon.
Discussion about New Hanover's special-permit changes moved to March meeting -- Star News, January 31, 2014
Proposed text changes to the special-use permit process will no longer be discussed at Thursday's New Hanover County Planning Board meeting, according to a county news release. The proposed changes specifically outline the permitted uses for the special-use permit and which types of businesses in which areas would automatically require a special-use permit.
The New Hanover County Planning Board will consider changes to the county’s zoning ordinance, which holds major implications for the future of heavy industry in New Hanover County, during its next meeting. The board, which will meet at 6 p.m. on Feb. 6 at the NHC Historic Courthouse, will be discussing revisions to the county’s special use permit process, which currently allows the county commissioners the ability to reject a company’s application on the basis of its compatibility with other interests in the county.
The New Hanover County planning department has a month to revise the most recent draft of the special use permit--or SUP--which is what new industrial companies need to operate. Last week’s presentation of the SUP to the planning board sparked controversy among local environmental advocates, pro-business groups and members of the public--many of whom claimed they didn’t have adequate time to consider the new draft.
When I first moved to Castle Hayne, I wasn't aware that the community I love abuts an area zoned for heavy industry. Over the years, Castle Hayne has continued to grow. … As our county becomes more crowded, progress continues to march northward.
In 2011, New Hanover County adopted a Special Use Permit (SUP) process for heavy industries. This process, used in over 50% of North Carolina counties, gives our elected leaders the first ever local review and decision-making for industries with the greatest potential to pollute our air, creeks and water supplies. Why, then, would county staff draft major changes to this process in 2013, before the first project is considered?
Input sought on debated revisions to New Hanover special-use-permit process -- Port City Daily, January 16, 2014
New Hanover County is inviting public input on proposed revisions to its process for reviewing and awarding special-use permits. Comments will be accepted until noon next Friday, Jan. 24—in advance of the planning board’s next regular monthly meeting on Feb. 6, when the board will revisit the revision proposals. Those changes were debated at the board’s January meeting, which drew a standing-room-only crowd for a public hearing that featured more than a dozen speakers.
The special use permit for new industries in New Hanover County is being given a hard look, with the county planning board taking a major step toward approving controversial revisions in the zoning ordinance at its Jan. 9 meeting.
Editorial - Ordinance ‘clarifications' lead to justifiable public suspicion -- Star News, January 15, 2014
Words matter, which is why some New Hanover County residents are upset about so-called clarifications to the county's special-use permit ordinance. County officials may mean one thing, but the draft amendments seem to say something quite different.
County Seeks Public Input Before Drafting Next SUP Ordianance -- WHQR Public Radio, January 14, 2014
The board asked the county to consider expanding its proposed timeline to review special use permit applications from 45 to 55 days. Board members also seek more information about the proposed role of state and federal permits in special use permit approval; namely, whether these will be sufficient to address local concerns. But, the county won’t be tackling those two sections for a couple of weeks. First, says assistant county manager Tim Burgess, the planning department will collect—and examine--written input from the public.
County planning commission votes to continue discussion on special use permit -- WECT, January 10, 2014
Crowds packed the New Hanover County Historic Courthouse Thursday evening for a public hearing held by the New Hanover County Planning Commission. After nearly two and a half hours of debate, the issue was continued to be discussed at a meeting next month.
Packed house prompts board to continue special-use-permit process decision -- Port City Daily, January 10, 2014
Facing a standing-room-only crowd that packed the New Hanover County Historic Courthouse chambers, the county planning board voted 4-2 Thursday to continue proposed amendments to the process for awarding special-use permits to next month’s meeting.
After nearly three hours of heated debate the New Hanover County Planning Board tabled a proposed amendment to their Special Use Permitting process so that the public had more time to understand the changes.
Concerns precede hearing on special-use-permit revisions for New Hanover -- Port City Daily, January 9, 2014
Proposed revisions to the process for awarding special-use permits in New Hanover County are continuing to draw concerns from observers, some of whom contend the changes will make it easier for industry to be permitted while diminishing the public’s involvement in the process.
New Hanover Planning Board tables decision on special-use permit process -- Star News, January 9, 2014
After more than two and a half hours of discussion, there still was no resolution on changes to New Hanover County’s special-use-permit process and officials eventually decided to table the issue.
NHC Planning Board To Tackle Special Use Permit Ordinance -- Greater Wilmington Business Journal, January 9, 2014
Additional changes to New Hanover County’s special use permit for industrial projects could be headed to the county commissioners, despite opposition from some groups contending that changes to the ordinance are not necessary. County planning staff will recommend changes to several sections of the special use permit ordinance during Thursday evening’s planning board meeting. Groups for and against the proposed changes are expected to attend the meeting, having discussed talking points with members in recent days about the issue.
Proposed Change to Special Use Permit Language in NHC Raises Questions Among Stakeholders -- WHQR, January 9, 2014
Proposed changes to New Hanover County’s Special Use Permit are the subject of heated discussion among stakeholders on all sides. Advocates for the environment, economic development groups, and county staff seem to be at odds over the significance of one particular element in the draft.
Tonight, New Hanover County’s planning department is holding a public hearing about some newly-proposed changes to the special use permit. At a November work session, the planning department offered a draft that would require applicants to address their long-range impact on the community and environment. The latest changes are meant to clarify requirements, but some are saying the new language also stands to modify them
The special-use permit process and Titan have been inextricably linked during most zoning changes and discussions, but now county officials are asking the public to take a step backward and help create a larger comprehensive plan.
Aside from being one of the most pristine areas in the county, the proposed site lies in an area affecting the aquifers for the entire region. New York state did not control what was allowed to develop on the Hudson River, and it took the better part of 50 years (and a ton of work) to bring it back to the clean state it is in now. Why don't the powers that be in the Wilmington area see the writing on the wall, and learn from New York's mistake?
For the first time, heavy industries must provide information on their potential effects and demonstrate that the proposed facility will not endanger public health or safety, meets all required conditions of the zoning ordinance, will not substantially harm surrounding property values, and will be in harmony with the area and in general conformity with the plan of development for New Hanover County.
PSR Physician Visits Wilmington, talks Titan, climate change -- WHQR Public Radio, November 17, 2013
When Kanter visited Wilmington, he heard about the Stop Titan movement – a grassroots organization formed in 2008 to prevent Titan Americas from building a cement manufacturing plant in New Hanover County. “Cement plants are the third-largest polluting industry. They not only create a lot of air pollution and local effects related to heavy metals and sulfur dioxide and all these things that might be exposed to people around – but they also produce a huge amount of carbon dioxide – at a time when the planet is nearing the tipping point.”
In this beautiful country of ours, we have been very fortunate. We have been fortunate for many reasons, but on a recent boat ride to view the site of the proposed Titan Cement plant, I was reminded of one reason in particular.
I fear silence on this subject could easily come to be viewed as consent … Our public officials need to hear from us on the subject regularly. The multiple threats posed by Titan's planned cement plant make the subject too dangerous for us to be lulled into silence.
The science is clear: particle pollution is deadly. It is well documented that particulate matter – which Titan Cement was just granted a permit to emit more of – leads to an increased risk of asthma attacks, emphysema with chronic obstructive bronchitis, infant mortality, heart disease, and ischemic strokes. It may even lead to lung cancer.
The new permit allows Titan to emit more partilcuate matter than its initial air quality permit. Geoff Gisler, an attorney with the SELC, discusses the new lawsuit filed against this revised air quality permit. The new petition states, "DAQ failed to demonstrate that the previous permit limit was no longer achievable at the Facility." After the previous SELC lawsuit was rejected on September 23rd, the case now goes to the N.C. Environmental Management Commission, which could take up the case as early as November. While Gisler identifies an approach that combines three permit challenges to target the DAQ's analyses; Gisler also suggests there are new things introduced by the new permit that need be addressed before they make a final decison on how to approach the case moving forward.
Since 1975, a chromium plume was discovered contaminating groundwater at the Elementis chromium plant, next to Titan property. To contain this, Elementis has been pumping contaminated water from the aquifer. Lowering of the water level caused by Titan may undermine this.
I was a junior in high school when the first wave of "Stop Titan" signs popped up at Wilmington intersections. I'm now a junior in college, and I'm dismayed to see this battle has continued. When it comes to human-caused carbon dioxide emissions, cement plants are responsible for 5 percent of worldwide pollution. Carbon dioxide has been identified as a main cause of global warming.
I read that the Division of Air Quality approved the newest permit application for Titan. What a waste of taxpayer money, to hold an open meeting to hear the opinions of the citizens. I was at that meeting, and I was in attendance at the first set of meetings. A conservative estimate of opinion against Titan would be 90 percent – at both meetings. … It seems obvious to me that the government is listening to the voice with the most money, not the citizens who will have to live with the results of their decision. … Titan has brought in big bucks and spread it around. … The company filed a nuisance lawsuit against two of our citizens for daring to speak out against them.
Stop Titan is Dealt a Blow, but Organizers Say the Fight Goes On -- WHQR Public Radio, September 11, 2013
For the Stop Titan Action Network, the fat lady hasn't yet sung. Sarah Gilliam, a spokesperson for Stop Titan, says the group is planning a meet-and-greet on Thursday, September 26th at 6:30 PM at Cape Fear River Watch, to talk about education and outreach opportunities.
Will Titan keep its promise, or keep trying to change the rules once it is here? Given its track record, which includes suing two people who dared to speak out in a public meeting, there's reason to wonder.
Despite significant public sentiment opposing the project, the N.C. Division of Air Quality (DAQ) has awarded a revised air quality permit for the proposed Titan cement plant planned near Castle Hayne.
Cliff Cash just won a Pelican Award from the N.C. Coastal Federation for his extraordinary commitment to stop a cement plant from opening in nearby Castle Hayne. But, he doesn’t think he deserves the recognition. Even after five years of fighting Titan Cement, fundraisers, scrap metal drives and comedy shows, the N.C. native still thinks he could do more.
Fine particle pollution has been shown repeatedly to contribute to hospitalizations and deaths from heart disease, strokes, lung disease, and preterm birth, among other things. Fine particle pollution has even recently been linked to autism. -David L. Hill, MD, FAAP
The article on the public hearing for Titan Cement’s air permit extension and the hearing itself missed the most important point. Both kept coming back to the technical questions of whether Titan is “following the rules” (which Titan helped to write) rather than the question of a community’s democratic right to preserve its quality of life. If the turnout and testimony at the hearing is any indication (and they are), then the overwhelming majority of citizens in the Lower Cape Fear do not want the plant built.
Hundreds of people attended a public hearing Monday night to speak about an air permit extension application from Titan America, the latest episode in a five-year battle between residents, environmental activists and supporters of a proposed cement plant in Castle Hayne.
I attended the public hearing on Titan Cement's proposed air permit revision. The debate amounted to a concern, on one side, for the environment and, on the other, for jobs. But this dilemma is false. Granting Titan's application to emit more pollution would not result in more jobs.
The state Division of Air Quality wants to hear from the public before deciding whether to grant Titan America’s request for a permit extension, one that asks to increase the amount of pollutants emitted from its proposed Castle Hayne cement plant.
Nestled among public streets and private property, the ubiquitous hidden camera is there to record what once went undetected. Even animals that roam the banks of the Northeast Cape Fear River can no longer escape the watchful eye of technology.
How much is our community willing to sell our clean water and air for?
The agency charged with protecting North Carolinians from air pollution – the N.C. Division of Air Quality – has quietly proposed changes that will allow more arsenic in our air. Nine times more arsenic, to be exact.
In response to the article titled “Report ranks Wilmington No. 7 for risk of storm-surge damage,” I would like to point out that the 28411 ZIP code, listed in the top 10 Wilmington area ZIP codes at risk, is directly adjacent to the proposed Titan Cement plant and limestone mine. This heavy industrial project would destroy (1,000) acres of irreplaceable wetlands that naturally hold and soak up floodwaters.
DAQ to hold public hearing on Titan's request to modify air quality permit -- WHQR.org, June 28, 2013
“Both the company and the Division of Air Quality have already determined that they don’t need to emit this pollution, that they can meet the limit that’s in the current permit, that this pollution is entirely avoidable. So that, I think, is the big key point here. They’re asking to pollute at a level that’s unnecessary even by their standards and what the Division of Air Quality has determined.”
Hearing to be held on revised air quality permit for proposed Titan cement plant -- PortCityDaily.com, June 28, 2013
The N.C. Division of Air Quality has scheduled a public hearing Aug. 5 to receive comments on a revised air quality permit for the Titan America cement plant proposed in Castle Hayne. The hearing will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Kenan Auditorium at UNCW, 601 S. College Road.
Could Titan use natural gas instead of coal in its proposed cement plant? -- MyReporter.com, June 21, 2013
Q. Titan is proposing a coal-powered plant in New Hanover County. As a compromise, could they put in a natural gas powered plant instead, the thought being there would be fewer bad emissions? A. Bob Odom, general manager for Carolina Cement LLC, ruled that out in an e-mail statement.
Coastal Federation, Fisherman’s Post Team Up For Inshore Fishing This Summer -- Coastal Review Online, June 19, 2013
It was a great match-up last year, and it’s even better this year. On Friday and Saturday (June 21-22), Fisherman’s Post, Wilmington’s weekly saltwater fishing newspaper, and the nonprofit North Carolina Coastal Federation will hold the second of five fishing tournaments, planned through to mid-September, looking to crown a local fishing champion based on an aggregate weight of flounder caught during the events on the 2nd Annual Inshore Tournament Trail.
The company pursuing construction of a cement plant in New Hanover County wants to increase the amount of pollutants allowed from the proposed facility. In its request for an 18-month extension on its air permit, Titan America asks to increase its potential release of particulate matter, or PM, at its proposed cement kiln in Castle Hayne on the banks of the Northeast Cape Fear River.
The company behind a proposed cement plant in Castle Hayne has filed for an extension on its air permit, saying an ongoing lawsuit made it difficult to adhere to the required construction timeline.
Wilmington is at an economic crossroads. A rapidly-changing marketplace, both globally and locally, offers our region a choice between two distinct cities.
‘Stop Titan’ supporters address county board, mark five years fighting proposed cement plant -- Port City Daily, May 9, 2013
Five years after Titan America first proposed a cement plant in the Wilmington area, supporters of the grassroots group “Stop Titan” are continuing their fight against the project—and made that known to New Hanover County commissioners at their meeting earlier this week.
The front lawn at Tidal Creek Cooperative Food Market was packed with citizens commemorating the five-year anniversary of their fight against Titan America.
In this letter to the editor, Wrightsville Beach resident Julie Hurley states, "We need more local tools like New Hanover County’s recently enacted Special Use Permit to help us plan for a safer and healthier future. A big thank you to those honoring this 5-year mark with the rally on Sunday."
Anna Brodmerkel likes wetlands. She appreciates their beauty and recognizes the threats to them. Because of that, she’ll have an extra $1,000 to take with her this fall to Chapel Hill A senior at Heide Trask High School in Rocky Point, Brodmerkel won a statewide high-school essay contest that was sponsored by Cape Fear River Watch and the Stop Titan Action Network, or STAN. Her essay was chosen from 51 entries for top prize of a $1,000 scholarship. Brodmerkel plans to attend the University of North Carolina in the fall.
Members of the Stop Titan group, one of the largest activist networks in southeastern North Carolina, are continuing their efforts to gain more support. This week marks their five-year anniversary.
Five years have passed since a handful of residents and environmentalists sat in the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners’ chambers to learn more about a company’s plans to build a cement plant just outside of Wilmington.
In a Letter to the Editor, John R. Spruill states that "It is a sad irony that a Greek corporation, Titan, wants to move down a path that will do great damage to three of those "elements" -- earth, water and air -- here in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties. To allow Titan to do this would be very bad public policy."
Bruce Holsten reaches out to local city and council officers to openly disapprove of Titan and the company's future pollution in the area, similar to the officer's disapproval of deep well disposal in the region. In his Letter to the Editor, the author reveals the need to acknowledge Titan's capacity to release mercury into the region and ultimately, cause massive air and water pollution.
Andy Wood leads our two-person pilgrimage to see a 1,000-year-old cypress along the Northeast Cape Fear River. The mighty tree has lost her neighbors. One went down with Hurricane Fran in 1996. Hundreds more have dropped away from pollution and saltwater intrusion. It used to be a more robust-looking canopy. Ten years ago, it looked better than that,” Wood admits. “She’s one of the last of the big ones here.
Editorial - Titan debate only small piece of bigger conversation that’s needed -- Star News, March 17, 2013
Woody White is right that discussing New Hanover County's future isn't about Titan Cement – at least, it's not only about Titan. Where he went wrong was in asserting that the proposed cement plant doesn't have a place in the discussion.
UNCW Environmental Studies professor Dr. Anthony Snyder expresses his opinion on our elected officials' recent assessment of the Titan discussion in the region.
Justin Murphy discusses Commissioner Woody White's and Mayor Bill Saffo's recent conversations about Titan and halting the Titan talk.
In response to the recent comments on stopping Titan talk, Cheryl McGraw explains the significance of the Titan conversation. Cheryl explains the negative effects the proposed Titan cement plant would have on the area, especially on local landowners like herself.
Paige Woodruff reinforces the importance of discussing Titan in the local community. In the letter, Paige explains the positive outcomes of talking about Titan.
During a panel discussion Friday morning, city and county officials asked the community to turn the conversation away from Titan.
CoastLine: does a Titan Cement plant fit the landscape of the Cape Fear Region? -- WHQR.com, February 28, 2013
On this special edition of CoastLine, host Rachel Lewis Hilburn spoke with Coastal Scientist Tracy Skrabal of the NC Coastal Federation, Kate Queram, environmental Reporter for the StarNews, and Dr. Craig Galbraith, Professor at UNCW's Cameron School of Business. The topic: does a Titan Cement plant fit the landscape of the Cape Fear Region?
Can mushrooms save the planet? Can a car really run on water? Those are some of the questions to be fearlessly pursued by the Cape Fear Environmental Film Forum, coming up Friday and Saturday, mostly at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. The forum will start off with a bang Friday with a 7:30 p.m. screening of "Clashing With Titans," a work-in-progress documentary about the proposed Titan Cement plant in Castle Hayne.
Douglas Darrell explains the dangerous facts surrounding Sodium dioxide in the Cape Fear Region and how Titan could add to an already hazardous problem in the area.
The Southern Environmental Law Center is out with its latest list of the most endangered places in the Southeast, and the Cape Fear River basin is on it because of the planned Titan cement plant.
Emma Bogdan highlights the need for our county commissioners to do their job protecting our well-being and quality of life by keeping our new Special Use Permitting process intact
The fight to stop a cement plant from opening in Castle Hayne could be heading to the silver screen. A documentary is in the works that will shed light on the project, efforts to bring it to Wilmington and the battle from citizens against it, according to www.clashingwithtitans.com.
Is This Titan’s and Elementis’ legacy? Destruction of aquifer and productive wetlands, and poison spread across our communities so they make huge profits, and leave an ungodly mess for you and your kids? You want this?!?
Kayne Darrell was awarded the Lumina News 2011 Person of the Year for her active work in the grassroots Stop Titan movement. Darrell has been fighting against the coal-burning Titan America’s Carolina’s Cement plant since 2008.
For almost as long as Titan America has been around, there have been people carefully watching, tracking and even filming each step of the way. This Monday marks the first preview of “Clashing with Titans” and the fundraising push to completion.
Monday morning in an extensive interview with WHQR, Bob Odom, Project Manager for the Titan Cement Plant, commented that the Stop Titan organization was a ..."small vocal minority" which he implied did not represent the majority of the public. As an environmental professional with 25 years working with a Fortune 100 company, I have been appalled at the actions of Titan Cement toward the local community.
Event to focus on economic impacts of cement plants -- Greater Wilmington Business Journal, November 26, 2012
The Cape Fear Economic Development Council (CFEDC) this week will discuss potential economic development impacts of Titan America’s cement plant planned for Castle Hayne.
As a small coastal community, Wrightsville Beach packs in countless ongoing debates and issues surrounding the area’s tourism appeal, local wildlife habitat preservation and restoration efforts and quality of life of its residents. Whether it’s another vote to ban smoking on area beaches, which recently passed in the 2012 elections, or an update on the multi-faceted issue of the Carolinas Cement project, Lumina News continues to offer award-winning coverage to its readers.
My family and I lived in Castle Hayne on the Northeast Cape Fear River for more than 12 years. We were a little over two miles as the crow flies from Elementis Chromium and just a few more from the proposed Titan Cement plant. My husband pieced together our 3,000-square-foot home over the years from repurposed materials, transforming a 900-square-foot cabin into a rustic castle.
The future growth and prosperity of New Hanover County depends on maintaining a healthy environment. Clean air and abundant ground water are more important to our economy and quality of life than 50 new jobs at a foreign owned cement plant.
Beside its impact on public health, county commissioners noted tainted wells may also affect property values and attempts to sell homes.
Candidates daydream about ways to spend $37 million, come clean on Titan Cement -- Lumina News, October 10, 2012
Before their closing statements, candidates gave their perspectives on Titan Cement and the incentives given for that type of industry.
As you step through the doors of Lovey’s Natural Foods and Cafe in the Landfall Shopping Center, you are transported to another era; to a time when buying food was more than just a determined walk through aisles of product in search of just what you needed. You’re not in a supermarket, but in a marketplace, where not only can you buy, but eat it as well. You can chat with the proprietors and greet friends and neighbors. You can linger as varied intoxicating aromas fill your nostrils. Baked bread, fresh fish, cooking meat.
We should remember that most regulations are in place because someone or a group of companies has decided that they can make more money if they come up with a “new” idea to balk the public. Environmental regulations, for the most part, are in place for our health. Locally, just think of the cost to Titan and Progress Energy to conform to the current regulations. They would be very happy and more profitable if the regulations were rolled back.
A battle that began earlier this year over legislation cutting back the state’s air toxics program starts up anew this week when state regulators seek public comment on changes to regulations on toxic air emissions. Legislators passed a bill in June that exempts from state law the emissions of toxic pollutants covered under a similar but not as extensive federal law. The bill was one of the most significant accomplishments in the N.C. General Assembly’s ongoing effort to roll back regulations.
Wilmington resident Brady Bradshaw points out the potentially disastrous consequences of Titan's expected water withdrawals from the Castle Hayne aquifer.
Disappearing wetlands in northern New Hanover has officials, residents concerned
As EPA considers looser regulations on cement kilns, some locals worry about implications for Titan -- WHQR.org, August 17, 2012
The tighter regulations were set to go into effect next year. But in June, the EPA proposed amendments to National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants in response to lobbying efforts from the Portland Cement Association – an advocacy group for the cement industry.
Some recent scientific findings in more than half a dozen studies present both fascinating and frightening perspectives on the effects of pollution on the human mind. Air pollution has been linked to impaired brain functioning in both older adults and children.
If our air and water quality are compromised by Titan's facility on the Northeast Cape Fear River, our tourism industry could be impacted.
Decision by decision, year after year, we have sacrificed our coastal resources, that natural backdrop that sustains both marine life and represents our legacy for future generations. Our future will be decided by the daily decisions influenced by our elected leaders, our public officials and most importantly by a growing community voice that insists upon involvement and collaboration among all interests in the region and ensures that our great plans become reality.
Beware the corporations in sheep’s clothing. It’s up to us to disrobe them before the wolf is loose.
How much is our community willing to sell our clean water and air for?
Cape Fear River Watch is offering a Scholarship Essay Contest to promote interest in environmental conservation and sustainability, with particular interest in the Titan Cement issue. This contest was created to engage students pursing college majors in environmental sciences, biology and wildlife and habitat conservation, as well as to give financial aid for tuition for the college-bound student. For more info on the scholarship, click here: http://www.capefearriverwatch.org/education/college-scholarship-essay-contest
"One of the problems is we added a lot more withdraw inland so now it is not just Wrightsville Beach but from the county well field and irrigation wells," Commissioner Rick Catlin said. "While it was never sustainable before, now we are accelerating the decline of our aquifer."
The challenge, filed in April by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of a handful of environmental groups, alleges that state regulators "failed to act as required by law or rule" in issuing an air permit for a cement plant to begin operation in Castle Hayne.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation will host an event next week for the business community. UNCW Cameron School of Business professors Craig Galbraith and Curt Stiles will present on their findings from an economic study that includes the potential impact the proposed Titan cement plant could have on area business.
A crowd of families and opponents of the proposed Titan Cement plant came to enjoy a sunny afternoon by the Cape Fear River. Among them was one question: Will the community’s health be safe if Titan were to construct its plant in New Hanover County? The visitors from the cement towns warned them that it would not.
When it comes to using the power of the law to protect North Carolina’s water, air and land, no organization does it better than the Southern Environmental Law Center. That’s why I was so excited to get their announcement via email today, challenging the permit recently granted to Titan Cement. Titan, a foreign-owned business with a sordid history of putting profits over people, has tangled with the wrong people.
"By allowing the cement company to emit unnecessary and harmful levels of pollution, the state's permit for Titan's pollution fails residents and visitors of North Carolina and violates state and federal law," stated Geoff Gisler, an attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center who represents the groups, in a release. "Ignoring available pollution controls, the state granted Titan's toxic recipe to pollute the air we all breathe."
The issuance of Titan’s air permit by the North Carolina Division of Air Quality came as a blow to many who oppose the proposed cement plant; however, Stop Titan Action Network and other local environmental groups anticipated the state department’s decision and are now refocusing opposition efforts.
The river’s water flows with a dark, black sheen due to the nature of the vegetation, making it an uncommon blackwater river. This unique piece of North Carolina’s geography has been central to the area’s economy and ecosystem since before America was founded. One boat ride up the northeastern branch will reveal stunning old oaks, lush wetlands, and a hulking, smoking cement plant – soon to possibly be made into an even bigger hulking, smoking cement plant.
In a letter to the editor, Tracy Skrabal reflects on how the Titan project has heightened the Cape Fear region's awareness of local and state issues, and reminds us that this year's elections will prove especially significant for our community's future.
The NC Division of Air Quality officially issued Titan an air quality permit for the proposed Castle Hayne cement plant. Dr. Robert Parr, an area physician, and Mike Giles of the Coastal Federation voice their concerns with the state agency's failure to fully examine the associated health impacts.
Kayne Darrell and Dr. David Hill believed that they were armed with solid research when they spoke at a New Hanover County Board of Commissioners meeting in Wilmington on Feb. 1, 2010, about the alleged negative health and environmental effects a proposed cement plant would have in the area.
Sherry O'Daniell calls on Governer Bev Perdue to consider the independent, peer-reviewed ICF International health study showing the damaging health effects of Titan's proposed plant for our community.
Castle Hayne resident and blogger Rick Wilson expresses concern with local media coverage of the Titan Cement issue and has a few questions of his own for government and Titan officials.
Renate Gray responds to a previous letter to the editor by highlight the considerable gap between German and American environmental standards. Concerning heavy-polluting industries in the US: "If the perpetrator get caught the profits far outweigh the fines assessed."
Lois Gibbs, the director of the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice, helped energize a packed room of New Hanover citizens with her inspiring story of standing up to business and government when leaders were failing to respond to health problems associated with the toxic waste leaking into her home community of Love Canal, NY.
The last of the Star News' three-part series on Titan weighs economic arguments for and against the plant. Tom Looney, a local business executive, blasts Wilmington Industrial Development for being "hopelessly out of touch" with the area's long-term economic future.
The second article in the Star News' three-part series about the proposed cement plant in Castle Hayne looks into some of the pollutants and associated health problems.
The Star News' first article in their 3 part series describes Titan's Pennsuco plant and some of its impacts on the surrounding area. "The trees at the gate are the only evidence that the plant is in Florida. The rest of the surrounding area looks like the surface of the moon – created by the company's massive earth movers and dump trucks."
Results from a health study conducted by the independent firm ICF International are presented at a free public hearing. A summary of the report, which focused on particulate and ground-level ozone pollution, can be found here>.
In a letter to the editor, Sarah Gilliam asks Governor Perdue to stop punting the Stop Titan issue. After spending the last three years "waiting on the science," perhaps our top state official will finally listen.
Michelle Bliss of local public radio station WHQR names the Stop Titan effort the #3 news story of the year.
Kayne Darrell of Citizens Against Titan is honored as Lumina News' 2011 Person of the Year.
"The Titan Cement proposal for a plant in Castle Hayne continued to spur controversy despite New Hanover County commissioners’ attempts to back away from the issue. Chairman Jonathan Barfield rejected recent criticism about playing golf with Bob Odom, general manager of Titan’s subsidiary Carolinas Cement."
The editorial board of the Star News commends Patrick Butler's recommendations to Division of Air Quality director Sheila Holman, while noting the sizable gap between Titan Cement's words and actions.
Patrick Butler, a regional supervisor at the NC Division of Air Quality, has issued his recommendations to the agency's director. Among the recommendations was the question of whether federal law precludes the agency from issuing the permit until a more comprehensive review is conducted.
A letter to the editor by Ed Scott, a longtime Stop Titan supporter and resident of Castle Hayne, discusses just a few of the negative impacts of more heavy industry in the Cape Fear region.
A federal court rejected an attempt to repeal EPA regulations that place limitations on pollutants emitted from cement kilns by the Portland Cement Association, an industry group chaired by Titan Cement's CEO.
Titan Cement may have had interest in locating a large cement manufacturing plant in Castle Hayne decades before it was offered $4.2 million in incentives from New Hanover County to locate here in 2008. New Hanover County property records and corporate filings with the North Carolina Secretary of State indicate that subsidiary companies of Titan Cement have existed in New Hanover County since 1990.
Jobs not all Titan Cement might bring to citizens of Cape Fear area. -- BlueNC.com, December 5, 2011
According to a new report conducted by a leading industry consultant based in Fairfax, Virginia, the Titan plant will be creating much more than jobs for the good citizens of the Cape Fear region. The study issued last week details a host of serious public health impacts, as well as millions of dollars in health care costs associated with Titan’s pollution.
Sophia Bush, star of One Tree Hill, speaks out against Titan Cement, which would affect the local film industry.
Opinion editorial by Marvin Woll of Raleigh, NC.
Tyler Roberts takes a trip up the river in Castle Hayne with Mike Giles, Coastal Advocate of the NC Coastal Federation and Kemp Burdett, River Keeper of Cape Fear River Watch. Read more about his trip and what he learned about the river and potential Titan Cement site.
Planning and zoning manager, Jane Daughtridge says Titan Cement is not an existing business and they will have to apply for the special use permit!
Middle Sound resident Dr. Robert Parr discusses the real costs of the legislature's reckless attack on the EPA.
Letter to the Editor from Shannon Gentry who, however grateful for the final vote and outcome, found Vice Chairmen Thompson's closing remarks to citizens at the County Commissioner's meeting out of line.
Zoning amendment approved with SUP adoption!
Michelle Bliss discusses DAQ comments on WHQR
The first of three public hearings regarding a draft air permit for the proposed Titan America cement plant went off with little fanfare Tuesday, as roughly 100 people came to listen to and speak about the pros and cons of the project.
CASTLE HAYNE, N.C. The first of three public hearings on the new draft air quality permit for the proposed Titan American cement plant in New Hanover County will be held in Castle Hayne.
A second round of public hearings reignites a debate surrounding a proposed cement plant in New Hanover County. Last month, the North Carolina Division of Air Quality released a new draft air quality permit for the proposed Titan America plant in Castle Hayne and now it's time for public hearings. Opponents even looked to Gov. Bev Perdue for help and support. They asked her to freeze all permits until a comprehensive review was completed but she said she is staying out of the debate because the plant would be on private property, not state property. "At the end of the day on private property, the science has to rule the permits," said Perdue. Titan said they won't start building until they have all the needed permits.
In the week prior to the Division of Air Quality public hearings regarding Titan Cement’s draft air permit, anti-Titan activists sought to rally support with local grassroots organizers and scientists making appearances at local meetings sharing concerns with other New Hanover residents. On Tuesday, Sept. 20, Stop Titan leaders held a public information session at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Students and citizens attended, and county commissioner Brian Berger was recognized at the meeting’s opening and received applause for his attendance.
At the end of this month, the coastal communities surrounding Wilmington will get a visit from the Raleigh-based Division of Air Quality, as the state regulatory agency hosts two days of public hearings for the controversial Titan Cement plant. Doctors, business owners, radio hosts, Republicans, Democrats, mothers, fathers, surfers and students have all been fighting like crazy for over three years to keep Titan from building one of the nation's largest cement manufacturing and strip-mining facilities in our community.
Opponents of a proposed cement plant in Castle Hayne are one step closer to getting another road block set up in front of Titan. The New Hanover County Planning Board voted unanimously to recommend changes to current zoning regulations. Those changes would allow the county to have more control of what large industry locates to the area. County commissioners now have to approve the measure on Oct. 3rd.
The proposed Titan America Plant under consideration in New Hanover County, if built, will be the 4th largest cement facility in the US. This project came about through negotiations kept secret from the public – by a publicly funded organization. In short…this is the most uninformed, dangerous, incompetent decision ever made by our local officals and the public organizations we fund for business and economic development. I am ashamed that my community would be put in this position…I am ashamed that each and every one of the local officials that approved, stood silently by, or who have offered ‘excuses’ as to this mess have not been run out of government as of yet….we – the people of this community – are better than this….its time to put an end to this controversy – NOW!
Proposed amendment to county industrial zoning districts on board's table -- Star News, August 28, 2011
The New Hanover County Planning Board will consider a proposed amendment to the county industrial zoning districts Thursday after failing to vote on the changes last month. The amendment is part of the county's zoning ordinance improvement effort. Started two years ago, it is the first overhaul of the county's zoning ordinances since 1969.
The N.C. Division of Air Quality has scheduled three public hearings in September on the new draft air quality permit for the proposed Titan America cement plant in New Hanover County. The first two hearings will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 27 at the McKeithan Center on the North Campus of Cape Fear Community College, 4500 Blue Clay Road, Castle Hayne. The third hearing will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 29 in the Kenan Auditorium at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 S. College Road.
Titan's public hearing dates set for September -- Greater Wilmington Business Journal, August 26, 2011
Three public hearings for the proposed Titan Cement plant’s new draft air quality permit have been set for September. Carolinas Cement Co., a subsidiary of Titan America, has applied for an air quality permit to construct and operate a Portland cement manufacturing plant at 6411 Ideal Cement Road in Castle Hayne.
Rep. Carolyn Justice challenges Governor on Titan issue -- Star News - Watchdogs Blog, August 18, 2011
State Rep. Carolyn Justice is taking Gov. Beverly Perdue to task over the Titan Cement issue.
Should the state approve the air permit for cement plant in NHC? -- WWAY Straw Poll, August 11, 2011
Should the state approve the air permit for a cement plant in New Hanover County?
Titan America is back in the news, winning a draft air pollution permit for it proposed cement factory near Wilmington. Citizens in southeastern NC have kept up a vigorous campaign to force the company to play fair, but Titan apparently believes the free market means its competitors should shut up and trust them to do the right thing. The Wilmington Star News says that government officials are largely going along, even though Titan has a record of making misleading statements, if not lying.
In recent months, North Carolina's coastal areas have been caught in a swirl of threat from two well-heeled industrial polluters, PCS Phosphates and Titan Cement. In the face of massive public resistance to its plans to operate on public land, the leaders of PCS Phosphates wisely backed down, deciding to search for a location where, we hope, their toxic impacts will be less damaging. Titan Cement, on the other hand, has given the old one-finger salute to the people of North Carolina, and more specifically, to the residents of the Cape Fear River basin.
The NC environmental agency says it “had to issue the draft permit, based on state law and scientific models of the potential impact,” because computer models “showed that plant emissions would not exceed health standards outside the plant’s property line.” But why trust Titan to supply correct information to go into those models?
Even with lastest permit from state, status of Titan project still up in air -- Star news, August 8, 2011
For the second time, the state has issued a draft air quality permit for Titan America's proposed Carolinas Cement plant at Castle Hayne. But it is still not clear whether the emissions restrictions in the permit are etched in concrete, or merely cement dust.
New Hanover Co. Planning Board Considers Industrial zoning changes -- WHQR Pulblic Radio, August 8, 2011
The New Hanover County Planning Board is reviewing changes to industrial zoning regulations written more than 40 years ago. WHQR's Michelle Bliss reports that after a public hearing late last week, the board has agreed to postpone a vote until final revisions are made.
For the second time in as many months, the New Hanover County Planning Board tabled a decision on the proposed zoning rule changes to require a Special Use Permit for intensive industries who wish to locate in our community.
After review, a new draft air quality permit has been issued for the proposed Titan America Cement Plant in Castle Hayne. Hundreds for and against plans to build the plant in New Hanover County have spoken out before and will get the chance to again now that the Division of Air Quality has drafted the permit.
Dozens of concerned citizens attended a New Hanover County Planning board meeting Thursday evening. The board heard from residents considering changes to current zoning regulations to allow the county to have more control of what large industry locates to the area.
North Carolina's environmental agency is reopening the debate on whether to allow a proposed cement plant near Wilmington that environmentalists fear would increase mercury pollution. The state Division of Air Quality on Friday released a new draft air quality permit for the Titan America cement plant proposed along a river already tainted with mercury. The step allows the proposal to get a public review that will include hearings in the Wilmington area in September.
The controversy over Titan America's proposal to build a cement plant in Castle Hayne moved back to the front burner Friday when the N.C. Division of Air Quality issued a draft air permit for the project.
Dear Governor Perdue: My reaction was one of surprise when I read how you swiftly and effectively stepped in and stopped PCS Phosphates from building their plant in Morehead City. Try to imagine how coastal residents like me would feel reading a story about how our governor intervened to protect the citizens because she “was responding to concerns of local residents ... about overwhelming opposition to the proposal”. Imagine how the thousands of folks living here in New Hanover County who have written you letters, called your office, rallied, volunteered, pleaded with your staff, gathered petitions, collected supporting scientific data and asked you to meet with them feel after reading this news.
New Hanover should follow neighbors’ lead on process for heavy industry -- Star News, August 2, 2011
Residents of New Hanover County should be able to air their concerns about plans for heavy-industrial plants, including, but not limited to, the proposed Titan Cement plant at Castle Hayne. After tabling the proposal last month to allow for more study, on Thursday the New Hanover County Planning Board will consider recommending zoning amendments to make that possible.
Proposed industrial zoning amendment creates layer of review for county -- Lumina News, July 28, 2011
A New Hanover County Planning Board workshop was held last week in an effort to clarify and further define a proposed industrial zoning amendment. The proposed changes to zoning in the county’s industrial district classify certain types of industry that would require a special-use permit to operate. In order to receive this permit, new industries would present to the planning board and the board of commissioners in two separate public hearings.
Titan proposal creates cracks in the business community -- Greater Wilmington Business Journal, July 22, 2011
A proposed cement plant is stuck in the middle of one of the major debates of our times: How to create new job opportunities in ways that don’t harm the environment?
I am very happy to see that the New Hanover County Planning Board is in the process of implementing zoning revisions for certain areas of the county
The New Hanover County Planning Board held a work session Wednesday to discuss proposed amendments to the county industrial zoning districts in an attempt to clear up concerns by board members and business leaders who oppose the changes. The work session was well attended, including County Commissioners Rick Catlin and Brian Berger. About 50 stakeholders – ranging from industry leaders to anti-Titan activists – crowded into a conference room at the New Hanover County government complex.
The special-use permit proposal that would allow input from the local community and government (regarding new industries that locate in New Hanover County) is long overdue.
Cape Fear Economic Development Council, Inc. (CFEDC) announced today that it believes that the proposed Titan cement project is “inconsistent with both the region's current economic identity as well as our as yet unrealized potential to compete at a global scale”. Titan America has proposed to build one of the largest cement manufacturing and limestone mines in the nation on the Northeast Cape Fear River just North of Wilmington, NC.
The New Hanover County Planning Board voted to hold a work session to discuss proposed amendments to the county industrial zoning districts, which call for two public hearings before a company could get a special-use permit to build or expand operations.
Some members of the New Hanover County Planning and Inspections Department want to see more county oversight over what industries move to the area
Some very concerned citizens gathered in Castle Hayne Wednesday afternoon to protest the proposed Titan Cement plant. Folks gathered at Castle Hayne Elementary to show their opposition to what they call Titan's attempts to influence, manipulate and bully citizens and elected officials. Marcher's held up signs of mock "targets" of Titan's bullying tactics.
Environmental activists with the Stop Titan Action Network are organizing a march in Castle Hayne on July 6 at 5 p.m. The demonstration is being organized to protest the planned building of a new cement plant by Titan Cement, a subsidiary of Carolinas Cement. The company purchased the property in Castle Hayne where Ideal Cement Company operated until it closed in 1982.
Lawyers for two citizens currently being sued by Titan America for defamation have filed a motion to get the lawsuit dismissed.
The challenge, filed in April by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of a handful of environmental groups, alleges that state regulators "failed to act as required by law or rule" in issuing an air permit for a cement plant to begin operation in Castle Hayne.
Titan America representatives attempted unsuccessfully this week to have lawmakers insert language into the Castle Hayne incorporation bill to help the company get around proposed changes to New Hanover County's zoning rules regarding industrial properties, Wilmington-area legislators and other sources said.
The Titan Cement proposal for a plant in Castle Hayne continues to spur controversy despite New Hanover County commissioners’ attempts to back away from the issue. Chairman Jonathan Barfield rejected recent criticism about his playing golf with Bob Odom, general manager of Titan’s subsidiary Carolinas Cement.
The Sierra Club has weighed in on a slander suit by Titan America against two New Hanover County residents. The environmental group last month filed a brief in support of alleged statements by defendant David L. Hill.
Rep. Carolyn Justice, R-Pender, is making a last-minute attempt to delay the issuance of state air quality permits for Titan America by amending a bill with language that would accomplish that. Language Justice hopes will pass the General Assembly, she said, would prohibit the Department of Environment and Natural Resources from issuing air quality permits to a Portland cement manufacturing facility in New Hanover County before receiving and evaluating a federal environmental impact statement being prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the facility's Clean Water Act permit.
Virginia has cited Titan America and proposed fining the company about $74,000 for violating pollution regulations at several of its plants in the state. Seven Titan ready-mix concrete companies broke water or air pollution rules between 2007 and 2009, according to an April consent order. To read the full consent order, click here.
Commissioner Barfield: Perdue waiting on science before decision on Titan -- Star- News, Watchdogs Blog, June 7, 2011
At the end of Monday’s meeting, Chairman Jonathan Barfield, who is against building the cement plant, shared a conversation he had with Gov. Beverly Perdue about the proposed Titan cement plant.
The only good thing that has come from the Titan’s litigious itch is how nicely it has unified our community. Known as the Stop Titan Action Network, or STAN, we are close to reaching 9,000 names on our online petition. The Stop Titan community includes parents like Mrs. Darrell and me, as well as more than 200 local physicians, various environmental groups, college students, business leaders, conservatives, liberals….you name it.
The diocese is considering property already owned by St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Castle Hayne at 4849 Castle Hayne Rd. During the meeting, a few parents were concerned with the proposed school location near the possible Titan Cement site. Mike Fedewa, the diocese's superintendent of education, said the diocesan school committee was aware of the site but didn't foresee issues with moving forward with the school there.
Blue NC published two letters to Gov. Beverly Perdue, written by Kayne Darrell. Darrell, founder of Citizens against Titan, sent Blue NC two letters that she wrote to Perdue.
This issue first came to my attention because the proposed site is only a few miles from my home and I worry about our exposure to toxic pollution. And it became even more personal to me when Titan Cement sued me two months ago for comments I made at an open County Commissioners meeting. I am now in the unfathomable position of having to defend myself in court for expressing my grievances to my elected officials.
A majority of voters in New Hanover County oppose the opening of a cement plant in the area, according to a recent survey from Public Policy Polling out of Raleigh.
It has been a month since the Sierra Club collected hair samples from Wrightsville Beach area residents at Wrightsville Beach Park. Test results, processed by the University of Georgia’s Marine Extension Service, indicate that of the 125 participants who agreed to share theirs, 15 people had mercury levels above what the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe, 1.2 parts per million (ppm).
According to a new poll sponsored by the Stop Titan Action Network, a majority of New Hanover County residents oppose Titan America’s proposed new cement plant in Castle Hayne.
North Carolina General Assembly Representative Susan C. Fisher (D-Buncombe) filed a Citizens Protection Act, on Wednesday, April 6, that is patterned after a proposed federal bill, which is designed to allow speaking before a public body without fear of legal retribution.
If the days of smokestack recruitment in New Hanover County are truly over, let it begin with Titan; it’s not too late.
A bill filed in the state House on Wednesday aims to offer some protection to those targeted by lawsuits such as the one filed by Titan against two New Hanover County residents who spoke against the cement company at a recent meeting.
Editorial: Special-use option could provide greater local control over industrial impact – Star News. March 29, 2011
How thoughtful of Titan Cement’s lawyers to look out for New Hanover County taxpayers by pointing out that a proposal to give them a bigger voice in industrial development issues will cost them money in the form of increased litigation.
New Hanover County gets a taste of Titan's tactics…
Can you hear the uproar there in the Triangle? It's the sound of thousands of "Oh, no, they didn't" coming from the Cape Fear coastal region. A few weeks ago, the companies seeking to build a big cement-making plant in our area sued pediatrician Dr. David Hill and Kayne Darrell, a mom and housewife, in federal court. Titan America and Carolinas Cement are suing Hill and Darrell for slander and defamation, charging, according to a newspaper report, that the two made "defamatory and untrue statements about Titan's push to obtain permits to build a cement plant in Castle Hayne."
Lawyers for Titan say proposed amendments to the light- and heavy-industrial zoning districts are an economic burden on their plans for a proposed cement plant and the special-use permit process would put New Hanover County in a constant legal battle.
The controversy over Titan America's plan to build a big cement plant near Wilmington has reached a low point. The company, not content with arguing the pros and cons with its many opponents, has scurried to federal court. There it has filed lawsuits alleging that two people, in comments they made at a county commission meeting, slandered it. Cease, desist and pay up, Titan commands.
You can't blame Titan America or its Carolinas Cement Co. for being ticked off at two local citizens for the way they spoke out against the company at a Feb. 1 meeting of the New Hanover Board of Commissioners.
Titan's suit against Kayne Darrell and David Hill is an affront to the Constitution and the First Amendment. It avoids the truth and attempts to intimidate them and others from voicing objections to possible environmental and social damage.
“Not here. Not now. Not ever,” chanted several hundred citizens who convened at Wrightsville Beach Park on Saturday morning, March 12, in support of Dr. David Hill, pediatrician, and Kayne Darrell, radiographer, who have been targeted by Titan America and its subsidiary Carolinas Cement with a $75,000 strategic lawsuit for public participation for comments made during a public meeting conducted by New Hanover County Commissioners on Feb. 1, 2010.
A Castle Hayne mother and a Wilmington pediatrician are two citizens who spoke out at a New Hanover County Commissioners meeting on Feb. 1, 2010, who face lawsuits from Titan America and its subsidiary Carolinas Cement.
Editorial - Titan may prove its own worst enemy as it tries to silence critics – Star News: March 7, 2011
Nobody likes a bully. And a bully is exactly how Titan America comes across in its slander lawsuit against two vocal opponents of its proposed cement plant in Castle Hayne.
Titan suing two residents for slander over comments made at commissioners meeting – Star News: March 5, 2011
On Saturday, March 5th, the Star-News reported that two New Hanover County residents, Kayne Darrell and pediatrician Dr. David Hill, were being sued by Titan Cement for slander and defamation, “charging they made defamatory and untrue statements about Titan’s push to obtain permits to build a cement plant in Castle Hayne” at a county commissioners meeting more than a year ago
Many thanks to Rep. Mike McIntyre for protecting local residents by voting on Feb. 18 against legislation in the House of Representatives that would kill EPA’s 2010 cement kiln regulations. The cement kiln regulations would require Titan Cement and other cement plants in the United States to install “scrubbers” that would capture more than 90 percent of toxic emissions before the emissions are released into the air.
New Hanover County has considered asking the state to temporarily halt its review of Titan America's air quality permit for its proposed cement plant in Castle Hayne.
Numerous medical professionals testified to the New Hanover County commissioners on Monday, Feb. 21 about health damages they expected if Titan Cement were allowed to set up its plant in Castle Hayne.
It’s interesting and sad the Star News didn’t cover the 4 doctors and a room of health care workers appealing to the County Commissioners to do something to Stop Titan Monday night.
Many thanks to Rep. Mike McIntyre for protecting local residents by voting on February 18 against legislation in the House of Representatives that would kill EPA's 2010 cement kiln regulations.
In February, 2010, I reported on the grassroot effort to derail Titan America's plan to build the 4th largest cement plant in the nation in Castle Hayne on Cape Fear River near Wilmington, NC.
This week the House Republicans are trying to gut the EPAs power to regulate pollutants in the air, on farmland and water. Let's see that is all your basic needs -- air, water and food -- but the Star News chooses to cover hoops skirts instead. This issue should not be Dems v Reps, as it effects every single red blooded American. It will have very specific effects on the folks in and around Wilmington because we have a Titan Cement plant and a pending non-attainment status looming over our head.
The health impacts of air pollution will be targeted by area physicians who plan to appeal to the county’s commissioners at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 21 at the Historic Courthouse on Third Street
The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering this week a bill to kill the cement kiln regulations passed by the EPA in 2010. Those regulations would make a tremendous difference in the amount of dangerous emissions Titan could emit, if it is built. Some of those reductions:
- mercury emissions from 263 pounds per year to 46 pounds per year;
- particulate matter (PM) emissions from 1.19 million tons per year to 11 tons per year;
- sulfur dioxide (SO2) from 1,456 tons per year to 438 tons per year;
- hydrochloric acid from 31.43 tons per year to 438 pounds per year.
Mike Giles, a coastal advocate for the N.C. Coastal Federation, said environmental officials met with the mayor a little more than a year ago after Saffo was quoted in a Star News article questioning whether smoke stack industry is right for New Hanover County. The comment came amid public outcries over the proposed Titan America cement plant in Castle Hayne.
Giles' segment with the mayor focuses on the environment and its essential role in a prosperous community.
“Without clean air and clean water, you don't have a good economic strategy,” Giles said.
If your child’s pediatrician told you that something would put your child’s health at risk; that the possibility existed that your child could get sick and possibly even die, would you listen? If your doctor gave you this information based on well-documented, reliable research and backed by respected groups such as the NC Pediatric Society, The American Lung Association and the American Heart Association, would you pay attention? Would you take measures to protect your children from harm?
What a coincidence: “All the measures we took increased our fund balance by $4.2 million ...” says the county manager in a Jan. 23 Star News article. This is exactly what the county promised to a Greek corporation, Titan Cement (cloaked as Carolinas Cement) if it would install a destructive mine and noxious furnace operation in the Castle Hayne wetlands, something Titan already planned to do.
How ofter have we heard that the area's commercial fishermen, shrimpers and oysterman no longer have places to operate from due to residential development along waterfront property? How many times have you heard that our fish, shellfish and oyster yields don't even come close to what they used to be? How many fights with outfits like Titan Cement do we need to have?
What a coincidence! "All the measures we took increased our fund balance by $4.2 million ..." says the County Manager in a StarNews article, page 1B, dated 1-23-11. This is exactly what the County promised to a Greek corporation, Titan Cement (cloaked as Carolinas Cement) if they would install a destructive strip mine and noxious furnace operation in Castle Hayne wetlands, something Titan already planned to do.
Members of the public got a chance to finish that sentence and form their own Tuesday evening at a forum on future economic development in the Wilmington area. Better collective planning, said one. Build on our marine biology strengths, said another. Merge Wilmington and New Hanover County. Explore a regional identity. Brand Wilmington.
Groups that kept the proposed Titan America cement plant near Wilmington, N.C., accountable to standards protecting the health of N.C. residents now will defend national pollution limits on cement plants after a federal court granted their intervention in Portland Cement Association v. EPA. The Southern Environmental Law Center represents the North Carolina Coastal Federation, Cape Fear River Watch and PenderWatch & Conservancy before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in defending EPA limits on conventional and hazardous air pollutant emissions from the Portland cement manufacturing industry
The Greepeace ship Arctic Sunrise will pull into Wilmington Friday, Jan. 21, to raise awareness about environmental issues with relevance to the Cape Fear area.
Cape Fear Basin, N.C., a proposed cement plant near Wilmington that the SELC said would destroy 1,000 acres of wetland habitat and pollute the northeast Cape Fear River.
Titan America Cement chose not to accept the dump truck full of money that our spendthrift county commissioners wanted to lavish upon it. Why? Because it is rolling in so much dough that it didn’t matter? Right.
An Oak Island resident recently advocated for the Skyway Bridge, Titan Cement Plant, and a port for our area. Since he's about 30 miles from the first 2 projects, the potential pollution from emissions and the mercury released wouldn't have much of an effect there.
To protect public health the World Health Organization has been reducing recommended limits on nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions from heavy industry on a regular and accelerating basis. The recommendations are based on years of scientific study.
Titan Cement officials claim they aren’t trying to circumvent any regulations in their efforts to build one of the nation’s largest and most polluting cement plants along the Northeast Cape Fear River.
Titan America: The Next Step; An Interview with N.C. Coastal Federation's Mike Giles – WHQR Jan 11, 2011
After a court ruling last month, the freeze has been lifted on Titan America's application for an air quality permit from the state for its proposed cement plant in Castle Hayne. With the wheels on that project turning once again, WHQR's Michelle Bliss talked to representatives both for and against the plant.
America's proposed cement plant in Castle Hayne has regained some momentum after a state Superior Court judge lifted an injunction freezing the company's air permit application.
In a Dec. 26 StarNews full-page ad, Titan Cement, a foreign corporation cloaked as Carolinas Cement, wants you to believe that SEPA and NEPA “... are the same.” This is simply not true.
Regarding Carolinas Cement’s full-page ads so we can “know the truth” and “believe the facts”: (Titan’s) actions have not instilled trust in any way to date.
What Titan did not tell you is: (1) NEPA review will not be completed before state air and water pollution permits can be issued―in fact the company is working overtime to get state permits to pollute air and water (with mercury and other toxics) before ANY comprehensive environmental review is completed and publicly heard. (2) Not only will the NEPA review happen AFTER the issuance of state permits, it will be far less comprehensive because that review is mainly about wetlands.
Carolina Cement's (Titan's) full page ad in Sunday's Star News, designed to convince readers that they will not circumvent a comprehensive and public review process, might be more believable if they hadn't just returned $4.5 million dollars in incentives for that very purpose... and if they weren't currently appealing the judge's decision that disallowed the issuance of individual permits until a comprehensive EIS is prepared and evaluated....and if the the Portland Cement Association, a trade group led by Titan America’s chief executive officer, was not currently suing EPA over newly adopted air quality rules, which will save lives and improve air quality nationwide.
In response to the letter, “Titan(ic) Assumptions,” I would like to clarify a few important points concerning the health effects of coal-fired cement plants and our state’s offshore wind potential.
I was shocked to learn that New Hanover County will soon be the first and only county in North Carolina to be designated in non-attainment for sulfur dioxide (SOx) emissions standards. This area has a large tourist, recreation and retirement economy that will be adversely affected by this huge polluter.
This letter responds to ‘Only Titan is Titan’. Like many Titan opponents, the author harbors incorrect assumptions that prevent her from seeing the totality of the facts. This results in a clouding of the moral calculus.
New Hanover County’s poor air quality is of serious concern to our health and our economy. We are poised to be the first and only county in North Carolina to be designated in non-attainment for sulfur dioxide.
According to the American Lung Association, 88,000 residents in New Hanover already suffer from health effects exacerbated by SOx pollution including asthma, heart disease, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Sadly, children are the most at risk. While Progress Energy’s Sutton Plant (has been identified) as the primary wild card in New Hanover’s SOx mix, the real wild card is Titan’s proposed cement plant, which will emit over 1,000 tons of SOx.
As the December 6 story details, New Hanover County’s poor air quality is of serious concern to our health and our economy. We are poised to be the first and only county in North Carolina to be designated in non-attainment for sulfur dioxide (SOx.)
The coast and clean air generally go hand in hand. But New Hanover County could soon find itself in the unenviable position of being the only county in North Carolina classified as "in nonattainment" for new federal air quality guidelines.
In response to the letter, “We are all Titan,” I assert that blame for environmental degradation should not fall on the individual, but rather on the corporate institutions that control financial markets and the political process.
This month, Titan Cement announced that it would no longer accept state and county tax incentives to build a new cement plant in Castle Hayne. In doing so, Titan hopes to no longer be subject to state-level environmental studies, a move that should hasten the construction of the plant.
The fight against Titan Cement’s plans for a local plant got a big vote of confidence last week. The support came in the form of a large grant from the Education Foundation of America, a contributor to the arts, education and environmental issues based in Westport, Connecticut.
New Hanover County State Senator Julia Boseman (D) sent North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue a letter Tuesday, asking her to delay the approval of an air permit for a new cement plant in the county.
Wednesday, she questioned Perdue's potential conflicts with the project.
The only reason Titan is declining the $4.5 million local and state tax incentives is the protracted court battle over the environmental review. Titan is afraid of what the environmental review would state(especially since the company promised to abide by new federal emissions rules), and they know that now that the Republicans control the state house and senate as well as the U S House that they are more likely to "have it their way".
Curtis Wright On The Beat: Tracy Skrabal, Coastal Scientist, and Mike Giles, Coastal Advocate, of the N.C. Coastal Federation, update us on the Titan America cement plant controversy. Also, Sam Pratt and Pete Jung, Valley Alliance of Hudson, New York, share their towns successful fight against a planned, massive cement plant in their community.
The Stop Titan Action Network recently accepted a grant worth $1.13 million from the Educational Foundation of America, a Connecticut-based group that provides grants to nonprofits for specific projects dealing with issues ranging from environmental protection to education reform.
Titan America, which seeks to build a big new cement-making plant near Wilmington, has decided that if a court has handed you lemons, make lemonade. Or rather, make cement.
Community activists crowded into the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Lumina Theater on Sunday, Nov. 14, for a Stop Titan rally that included speakers and a documentary about another town’s successful rejection of a cement plant.
In her last weeks in office, New Hanover County State Senator Julia Boseman (D) continues to push Governor Bev Perdue to slow down the process for Carolinas Cement Company to build a cement plant in the Castle Hayne area.
The Stop Titan Action Network received a $1.2 million grant from the Educational Foundation of America. The EFA is based in Westport, Conn., and contributes to arts, education, environment and sustainable population issues throughout the world.
Editorial: Titan's incentives decision doesn’t eliminate environmental concerns – Star News: Nov 13, 2010
acing a delay that was partly its own making, Titan Cement now has declined $4.5 million in local and state tax incentives rather than continuing what could be a protracted court battle over an environmental review. That decision does not remove the company’s legal and moral obligation to assure residents the plant will not harm the community.
Senators voted to pass a bill changing North Carolina's environmental law so fewer industrial developments will be required to undergo comprehensive environmental reviews. The bill has moved to the House for consideration.
Lumina News provides a good summary in this article of the actions surrounding NC House Bill 1973, which aims to nullify SEPA application to projects receiving taxpayer incentives. The following two articles also report on this issue.
State legislators are working to make it easier for companies given economic incentives to locate to NC by creating legislation limiting the application of the N.C. Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). If approved, this will mean state provided economic incentives to companies for job creation and investment will no longer trigger SEPA, which requires environmental review before permits are issued for projects greatly impacting the environment and using public money and land.
The oil spill in the Gulf is not just a result of BP negligence. It is also the fault of the American public. Letter to the Editor asks us to take stake in our community, especially relevant to stopping Titan Cement.
Cement-maker Titan America will be alone in appealing last month’s Superior Court ruling, the one that applied a lengthy environmental review to its proposed facility and rock quarry in New Hanover County. That is because the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office has decided not to join Titan in appellate proceedings.
It takes cement to make concrete, and it will take state-granted permits to authorize the big new cement plant - fourth-largest in the nation - that Titan America plans to build near Wilmington. Now the permit-granting process seems to be getting some much-needed scrutiny in a Raleigh courtroom.
Elaine Marshall, currently the secretary of state under Gov. Beverly Perdue and a candidate for U.S. Senate,has weighed in the Titan, and she wants it slowed down.
A hearing officer reviewing the plans for a proposed cement factory in New Hanover County said the state and the company should do more work before permits are granted.
In a report issued Thursday, hearing officer Paul K. Muller said the state needs more information on how Titan America will control pollution from the plant it wants to build in Castle Hayne. The Division of Air Quality is considering a permit for the plant, which would produce 2 million tons of cement each year along with pounds of poisonous by products. Muller, the supervisor in the division's Asheville office, reviewed the state's draft air permit and public comments on it.
A state regulator wants the North Carolina Division of Air Quality (DAQ) to hold back on permitting Titan America's proposed Castle Hayne cement facility and review the implications of mercury emissions on public health.
An air quality regulator tasked with reviewing public comments on the proposed Titan America Cement plant recommended the state review its decision to proceed with issuing an air permit for the controversial project before a larger environmental review is complete.
The battle to stop Titan Cement from locating to our beloved coast gains momentum daily. New Hanover County commissioners have received a petition from nearly 6,000 people who oppose Titan. As we learn more, opposition grows.
Stringent smog standards recently proposed by the federal government have opened another chapter in the debate of Titan America and its prospects in New Hanover County.
By announcing the proposal in January, the federal government has brought into focus a shift in critics’ ire for what they argue is North Carolina’s propensity for issuing permits before rigorous environmental standards are finalized.
Exhibit A in the argument for doing comprehensive environmental reviews for proposed industrial plants instead of issuing permits piecemeal:
The head of North Carolina's Division of Water Quality wrote the head of the Air Quality Division last month to let him know that the Northeast Cape Fear River can't take any more mercury – which may make it more difficult for Titan Cement to get a discharge permit for its Castle Hayne plant.
The river near a proposed cement plant in New Hanover County can't tolerate any more mercury pollution, state officials say, a judgment that could block the controversial factory from opening.
The state environmental agency is considering permits for the plant planned for Castle Hayne near the already mercury-tainted Northeast Cape Fear River. The factory built by Titan America would produce a number of pollutants, including mercury.
Titan America’s subsidiary in Florida had its mining operations partially closed down after it was linked to contamination in Miami-Dade’s water supply at the same time New Hanover County was vetting the company for a $4.2 million incentive package, according to news reports and court documents.
U.S. District Court Judge William Hoeveler issued an injunction on July 13, 2007 against Titan’s Florida subsidiary, Tarmac America, ordering it to cease all lime rock mining activity because its quarry on a Miami-Dade well field had been linked to contamination.
A corporation that shares an address and president with a Titan America subsidiary bought a Wilmington office building for more than twice its tax value from Democratic fund-raisers under scrutiny by state and federal prosecutors.
Marino Papazoglou, a Titan America official, sought help from New Hanover County and North Carolina in jumping a potential hurdle for his company.
Titan’s counsel, attorney George W. House, informed Papazoglou in an e-mail dated July 22, 2008, that if a state or county incentive package involved writing a check—which it does—the State Environmental Policy Act, better known as SEPA, would trigger a top-to-bottom review, delaying Titan’s permits until the review could be completed.
Pediatrician rebuffs colleague's letter on Titan Cement's impact – Greater Wilmington Business Journal: Dec 3, 2009
In the Oct. 30 edition, my colleague Dr. Dennis Nicks published a letter entitled, “In letter to medical society, doctor questions Titan opposition.” This letter, modified from a version he sent to members of the New Hanover-Pender County Medical Society, is riddled with errors both factual and conceptual. Having lectured to both the Medical Society and the North Carolina Pediatrics Society on this issue, I would like to respond to some of his assertions. Let’s start with the facts.
Dear Governor Perdue, The recent State Board of Election hearings on Governor Easley and his alleged campaign activities, as well as the Verizon contracting scandal, have once again shaken confidence in our state government. These repeated scandals are damaging our state's reputation for honest government and demand executive leadership. While we all hope the General Assembly will take on the call of reform in the 2010 session, there are a number of positive and immediate steps you could take as governor to help restore confidence in state government:
On Friday, the state will close the public comment period on the draft air quality permit for Titan Cement’s proposed Castle Hayne plant. And there’s a good chance that the state will issue an air permit that bears almost no resemblance to the emissions standards Titan would be subject to under new federal rules for cement plants.
The Environmental Protection Agency sent written comments to state regulators about the draft air permit for the Titan America cement plant. But what do these comments from the EPA really mean? It depends on where you stand on the debate.
Both sides converged at two public hearings held at the Cape Fear Community College North Campus BB&T Auditorium, where officials with the state Department of Air Quality (DAQ) fielded about 200 public comments for approximately seven hours Tuesday evening, said Tom Mather, the division’s public information officer.
Titan America and eight other cement companies conspired in a price-fixing scheme to boost the price of cement and concrete and eliminate competition in Florida, according to a class-action lawsuit filed this week in federal court.
Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo is running for re-election, so perhaps he had an ulterior motive when he took a middle-of-the-road approach to one of the area's most contentious issues. Nevertheless, local leaders should welcome his suggestion to hold a forum to discuss not just the controversy over a proposed cement plant, but what types of industry are appropriate for the Cape Fear region.
Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said this week that it's time for a community-wide discussion about whether the coast of Southeastern North Carolina is an appropriate setting for businesses like Titan America.
Letter to the Editor about Titan from David L. Hill, M.D., Wilmington
Remember claims from Titan’s corporate officials and chief lobbyist, John Merritt, (longtime friend and fraternity pal of Mike Easley) about how to trust them and the unblemished record of the Ideal Cement plant? In fact, our research of the Ideal facility reveals facts that dispute Titan's claims.
Rep. Carolyn Justice speaks about legislation regarding cement plants at a meeting hosted by critics of Titan America LLC on Thursday, July 16 in Hampstead.
Letter to the editor in the Star News by David Thomas, Chairman, NH Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors
A lot of groups in the Cape Fear region have come out publicly to take a stand against the proposed Titan America cement plant in Castle Hayne. On Sunday, the Wilmington surf community stepped up to the plate to add their name to the mix.
Rick Catlin, president of Catlin Engineers and Scientists, of Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach has been recently appointed by Governor Beverly Perdue to the North Carolina State Commission for Public Health.
Smith believes Wilmington is at a crossroads. He acknowledges that the beach will always be a destination, but that the area is not doing enough to find and recruit more people like himself.
Pro-environment does not mean anti-business – Greater Wimington Business Journal (date not available)
A recent editorial in the Greater Wilmington Business Journal by Bob Warwick sported a title and numerous statements likening heavily polluting industry to hunting and fishing. By his account, both count not only as environmentalism but they are the patriotic duty of every responsible citizen.
A group fighting to block a cement plant in New Hanover County is questioning the connections of a lobbyist for the company that wants to build the plant.
New Hanover County had seven days in the past three years when ozone levels were considered too high to be safe for people at risk for health problems, earning the area a “D” in the American Lung Association’s annual air quality grades released Wednesday.
James R. Leutze is chancellor emeritus of the University of North Carolina Wilmington and sits on the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission.
Mike Giles is the Cape Fear coastkeeper with the N.C. Coastal Federation, an environmental lobbying group.
N.C. Rep. Sandra Spaulding Hughes filed a bill this week seeking to delay permits for the Titan America cement plant.
Representative Sandra Spaulding-Hughes' Moratorium Bill on Cement Plants in NC – Star News: April 10, 2009
House bill filed to delay Titan cement plant
State Sen. Julia Boseman has filed a bill that seeks to put the brakes on building cement plants in North Carolina until September 2010.
Mercury has stumped scientists for decades. The liquid, silver-hued and toxic metal has received renewed attention in Southeastern North Carolina since Titan America announced plans to build a cement plant in Castle Hayne.
The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission voted Friday to send two letters, one to air quality officials in Raleigh and another to regulators with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission may ask the state to delay Titan America’s air permit until a comprehensive environmental review is finished.
The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission will consider asking the state's Division of Air Quality to hold off on issuing Titan America's air permit because of concerns with water contamination.
WHQR Titan Series:
When news broke last spring that Titan America would build what could be one of the largest cement plants in the country, there was a mixed reaction of praise for its economic boost and concern over its environmental impact.
The name "Titan America" was new to most residents last April when New Hanover County Commissioners voted to give the company millions of dollars in incentives. But the name was familiar to a select few politicians and business leaders working behind the scenes to lure the company to the area.
The Northeast Cape Fear River streams through a swath of lush, green wetlands. The area is home to fish, flowers and more. And it may eventually become home to a cement plant and limestone quarry operated by Titan America. Producing cement in the heart of a wetland ecosystem may significantly impact the environment.
Just north of historic downtown Wilmington, a small branch of the Cape Fear River breaks away. That Northeast Cape Fear skirts along a stretch of land that once hummed with the production of cement. And for good reason: "The limestone was here."
A new report from the nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) identified the 50 worst power plants in the United States for mercury emissions, and North Carolina was named one of the “dirty dozen” states with the most plants on the list. Two North Carolina plants — the Progress Energy plant in Person County and the Duke Energy plant in Stokes County — were listed among the worst polluters.
Opponents of the Carolinas Cement plant are enlisting environmental lawyers in their fight to stop the company from building a factory in Castle Hayne.
On April 21, 2008, the New Hanover County Commissioners passed a resolution to grant a $4.2 million economic incentive package to Titan America LLC to build a cement manufacturing plant in Castle Hayne. The vote was not unanimous. Chairman Bobby Greer, Bill Caster, Bill Kopp and Ted Davis voted for the measure, while Nancy Pritchett opposed it. On July 1, after a contentious June 2 public forum on the issue, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) held a public scoping meeting at Wilmington Christian Academy to allow public input on the proposed cement plant.
Despite the glaring absence of officials from Titan America LLC — which is proposing to build the nation’s fourth largest cement manufacturing facility on a 1,868-acre tract in Castle Hayne — more than 250 concerned residents convened at the Northeast branch of the New Hanover County Library on Tuesday night to participate in a public forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Lower Cape Fear and the Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) on the pros and cons of the cement giant coming to the area.
On July 1, Wrightsville Beach resident Julie Hurley attended a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public scoping meeting. The meeting allowed citizens to offer input on Titan America’s proposed Castle Hayne cement plant. Hurley said she attended for many reasons, but most of all, for the future well being of her 3-year-old son, Jackson.
Joel Bourne moved his family away from Annapolis, Md., in part because of the heavy smog and pollution. He returned to his native North Carolina and settled in New Hanover County for a better quality of life and environment.
Area residents met in Hampstead last night to voice concerns over a cement plant proposed for New Hanover County. Titan Cement has made tentative plans to build a cement plant on the banks of the Cape Fear River in Castle Hayne.
An appeals court won't overturn a decision that calls for more stringent pollution controls at a cement plant in northern Michigan. The federal court this week ruled against St. Marys Cement, a Canadian company that makes cement in Charlevoix, 50 miles north of Traverse City.
New Case Study Suggests High Levels of Ventilation Impairment May Exist Around Industrial Structures -- Lung Disease News, January 26, 2015
A team of researchers from Chosun University in Korea recently found that residents near a cement plant who were heavily exposed to pollutants from industrial byproducts have higher rates of ventilation impairment when compared to people who live far away from cement plants. The study, entitled “Ventilation impairment of residents around a cement plant,” was recently published in the Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and further supports the notion that industrial pollutants can have a substantially negative impact on lung health.
Cement production may be the next frontier for human rights abuses in Egypt. In October 2014, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) released a report condemning Titan Cement - a group headquartered in Greece with cement plants in 9 countries – for labor rights and environmental abuses at its facility in Alexandria, Egypt.
DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory Contributes to CO2-reducing Cement and Concrete Research -- For Construction Pros, October 30, 2014
The next phase of a four-year research and development project supporting the commercialization of Solidia Technologies’ carbon dioxide-reducing cement and concrete processes will commence with the commitment of an additional $752,000 from the US Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).
After voting closed on the USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice contest for Best American Riverfront, fans of Wilmington, N.C. no doubt breathed a huge sigh of relief. They waged a tight but winning battle against Spokane, Washington for the top spot and landed the #1 slot after a frenzied weekend of voting.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) won another legal round a case regarding its controversial veto of a West Virginia mountaintop removal mining permit. The case has attracted national attention over the EPA’s authority to retroactively revoke water pollution permits.
Along the Northeast Cape Fear River, silos of an abandoned cement plant rise 20 stories over a rusty dock that was once used to load cement for the trip to nearby Wilmington. Downriver, an idle red-and-white smokestack towers over the trees.
The comic book series 'Watchmen' takes its title from the Latin phrase 'Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?' which is translated as 'Who watches the watchmen?' Commonly used today to warn against government, police and judicial corruption, the saying might also apply to those groups who watch big industry such as the Atlas of Environmental Justice.
Exercising when air pollution levels are high can do more harm than good -- South China Morning Post, July 1, 2014
Do you check air pollution levels before exercising outdoors? You should. Although regular exercise is good for us, exercising in poor air may wipe any short-term fitness gains. Worse still, you could be putting your body at risk of serious illness and - more worryingly - long term, irreversible damage.
The Amount Of Carbon Dioxide In Our Air Just Reached A New Record, And Scientists Are Worried -- Think Progress, July 1, 2014
On Monday, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii told Climate Central that June would be be the third month in a row where, for the entire month, average levels of carbon dioxide were above 400 parts per million (ppm). In other words, that’s the longest time in recorded history that this much carbon dioxide has been in the atmosphere.
Regulations designed to reduce air pollution in North Carolina have led not just to cleaner air but to fewer deaths from lung diseases, according to a new study report released Monday. Researchers at Duke University reviewed 17 years of state air quality data and death records, and found a distinct correlation between the start of stricter pollution rules in 2002 and a marked decline in the number of people perishing from emphysema, asthma and pneumonia. The report was published in the International Journal of COPD.
The tiny particles in vehicle exhaust and other sources of air pollution may hasten cognitive decline in older adults, according to a new U. S. study. “We decided to examine the link between air pollution and cognitive function in older adults because there is growing evidence that fine particulate matter air pollution affects brain health and development, but relatively little attention has been given to what this means for the aging brain,” said Jennifer Ailshire, who co-wrote the report.
Titan America’s subsidiary, Carolinas Cement Company, plans to establish a cement packaging facility at an existing storage and handling terminal in Castle Hayne, New Hanover County, USA. At present, the terminal at Castle Hayne stores and distributes cement produced at the Roanoke cement plant, which it receives via rail. The bagging facility will allow the plant to pack the cement in bags, enhancing handling, storage and distribution efficiency both onsite and for customers.
A federal court ruled Friday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can no longer let cement plants off the hook for fines if the plants - or kilns - spew dangerous pollution and claim it was the result of what's known as an "upset" or a mistake.
North Carolina cites five more power plants in massive coal ash spill -- The Guardian, March 3, 2014
North Carolina regulators have cited five more Duke Energy power plants for lacking required storm water permits after a massive spill at one of the company’s coal ash dumps coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge. The state department of environment and natural resources announced Monday that Charlotte-based Duke had been issued formal notices of violation for not having the needed permits, which are required to legally discharge rainwater draining from its plants into public waterways.
Last June, state employees in charge of stopping water pollution were given updated marching orders on behalf of North Carolina’s new Republican governor and conservative lawmakers. “The General Assembly doesn’t like you,” an official in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources told supervisors called to a drab meeting room here. “They cut your budget, but you didn’t get the message. And they cut your budget again, and you still didn’t get the message.” From now on, regulators were told, they must focus on customer service, meaning issuing environmental permits for businesses as quickly as possible. Big changes are coming, the official said, according to three people in the meeting, two of whom took notes. “If you don’t like change, you’ll be gone.”
Separately Wednesday, the official Xinhua News Agency reported that Beijing's city government said it would shut down 300 polluting factories this year and eventually phase out some industries to improve the city's air, citing a document detailing the capital's action plan to 2017 to clean up its air. Energy and pollution-intensive projects such as steel and cement are not to be approved on principle, it said.
Feds launch probe of NC environmental agency in wake of massive coal ash spill -- FoxNews.com, February 13, 2014
Federal authorities have launched a criminal investigation into North Carolina's environmental agency following a massive coal ash spill on the Dan River. The U.S. Attorney's Office issued a grand jury subpoena requesting records from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. They include emails, memos and reports from 2010 through the Feb. 2 spill.
Children with autism are two to three times more likely than other children to have been exposed to car exhaust, smog, and other air pollutants during their earliest days, according to a new study.
North Carolina’s beaches ranked third in the nation in the National Resources Defense Council’s water quality rankings for 2011, released in late June.
Best For: The whole family can enjoy Wrightsville’s trademark mix of sleepy southern beach town and growing metropolis. Think catfish with caviar or barbecue with Beaujolais. Wrightsville Beach is a small town tucked away between the salt marshes, sandy barrier islands, and old wooden piers of the American southeast.
A Greek newspaper reports that Titan's profits fell 89% in 2011 from the previous year. According to the report, the massive decline in worldwide cement demand is to blame.
Citizens in Alexandria, Egypt are reaching out to STAN as they fight a similar battle against Titan's cement plant in their city. Frustrations in the North African country have boiled over after years of heavy pollution and allegedly poor working conditions at the plant.
The cost is more than money. The cost of a cement plant may be your health. -- The Examiner, December 14, 2011
An autoimmune disease examiner discusses a recent health study on the proposed Titan Cement plant, including the potential for increased cases of lupus and schleroderma.
Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Portland Cement Association’s attempt to kill Clean Air Act standards that will reduce cement plants’ emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants by more than 90 percent and save between 900 and 2,500 American lives every year.
There is an alternative to dirty cement!
There is an alternative to dirty cement!
Two plants tell a complex story of what happens when regulations written in Washington ripple through the real economy. Some jobs are lost. Others are created. In the end, say economists who have studied this question, the overall impact on employment is minimal.
The Ash Grove cement plant in Chanute, a town of 9,000 people, and its skyscraping smokestack have not run afoul of the law or the state and regulators who enforce it. The plant does not appear on Environmental Protection Agency lists of facilities requiring urgent enforcement or extra scrutiny. "The plant is in compliance," says Karl Brooks, the regional EPA administrator.
Federal rules establish a unique class of polluter for cement kilns, like the massive one in Chanute, that burn hazardous waste for fuel. The law allows them to emit greater amounts of some toxic chemicals into the air than the hazardous-waste incinerators specially designed to burn the very same chemicals—including industrial solvents, aluminum-plant waste, and other toxic leftovers from the production of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and oil.
"According to the report, emissions of mercury to the air (and subsequent deposition) are now the primary source of mercury pollution to the Great Lakes region. Twenty-six percent of mercury deposition in Canada and the continental United States is from the Great Lakes region, with the highest concentrations in Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin."
This is a great editorial by Paul Krugman who explains why the idea that decreasing environmental regulations doesn't create jobs but only "makes us poorer and sicker."
This is a great editorial by Paul Krugman who explains why the idea that decreasing environmental regulations doesn't create jobs but only "makes us poorer and sicker."
This is a great editorial by Paul Krugman who explains why the idea that decreasing environmental regulations doesn't create jobs but only "makes us poorer and sicker."
Protecting Americans from toxic substances has become a bi-partisan battleground. The EPA chief protests the politicization of pollution.
WASHINGTON—The House voted Thursday to force a rewrite of federal air-pollution regulations for cement plants, the latest step in a Republican-led effort to undercut the Environmental Protection Agency's agenda. If the bill approved Thursday became law, the EPA would have to rescind existing rules for toxic emissions from cement kilns and revise them in a way that is less burdensome to the industry. The bills would also give those facilities at least five additional years to comply.
Amidst House Vote, New Research Shows What Cement Companies Are Saying, or Not Saying, When It -- National Resources Defense Council Staff Blog, October 6, 2011
skip to main content Search HOMEISSUESCONTRIBUTORSFind NRDC on:? Top Stories:Anti-Environmental RidersKeystone XL PipelineDefending the Clean Air ActHome › Contributors › Christina Angelides › Amidst House Vote, New Research Shows What Cement Companies Are Saying, or Not Saying, When It Comes to Our Health and Environment Christina Angelides’s Blog Amidst House Vote, New Research Shows What Cement Companies Are Saying, or Not Saying, When It Comes to Our Health and Environment Print this page Posted October 5, 2011 in Curbing Pollution Tags:cement, cementcompanies, cleanairact, congress, mercury, smog, soot Share | | | It’s hard to imagine that any company would oppose efforts to save American lives, not to mention avoid a significant number of asthma attacks, heart attacks, and emergency room visits that result from mercury, soot and other toxic air pollution. This is especially true when those same companies have issued corporate policies and statements that claim to support environmental and public health stewardship and sustainable practices. But when it comes to clean air standards for cement plants, this is exactly what is happening, according to new research conducted by NRDC. What’s even more disconcerting is that some of those same cement companies even say they can meet the standards, while at the same time they are supporting efforts that would gut and block toxic air pollution standards for cement plants. According to our findings 7 companies--Buzzi Unicem, Cemex, Eagle Materials, Essroc Cement Co., Lafarge North America, Lehigh Hanson, and Titan America--are on record for supporting delays of or opposing current Clean Air Act standards for cement plants.
House takes aim at EPA regulations to reduce toxic air pollution from cement kilns, boilers -- Washington Post, October 6, 2011
WASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled House passed the first of two bills Thursday to delay rules to cut toxic air pollution and mercury from cement plants, solid waste incinerators and industrial boilers.
“Cement plants can reduce their emissions when they want to,” James Pew, a staff attorney at EarthJustice in Washington, who filed lawsuits pushing for the regulation, said in an interview. “The argument that they can’t is purely for political consumption.”
House Bills Repeal, Gut Safeguards Against Mercury & Toxic Air Pollution From Cement Plants -- NRDC blog, September 30, 2011
The week of October 2nd, two bills aimed at blocking critical health protections against mercury and other toxic air pollution from incinerators and boilers (H.R. 2250) [pdf] and cement plants (H.R. 2681) [pdf] are expected to be brought up for a House floor vote. These bills continue the deadly trend of the Cantor Pollution Plan – rolling back clean air safeguards and putting millions of American lives at risk.
Do environmental regulations kill jobs? Republicans and business groups say yes, arguing that environmental protection is simply too expensive for a battered economy...but many experts say that the effects should be assessed through a nuanced tally of costs and benefits that takes into account both economic and societal factors.
NC air quality agency opens public debate on potential permit for much-debated cement plant -- The Republic, August 5, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina's environmental agency is reopening the debate on whether to allow a proposed cement plant near Wilmington that environmentalists fear would increase mercury pollution.
Nearly one person in 10 tested for toxic mercury had elevated blood levels enough to warrant a visit to their doctor, according to a study of people who live around the Lafarge cement plant by the Harvard University School of Public Health. The results, based on a study of 172 people who last spring volunteered to give blood and hair samples, also found that eating local fish is not behind most of the elevated mercury levels. The state advises that the best way to avoid mercury exposure is not to consume local fish.
Today, House Republicans announced a Congressional Review Act resolution that seeks to undo U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules to control toxic emissions from cement plants. The rules would reduce cement plants’ emissions of mercury and other toxic substances by more than 90 percent. EPA scientists have estimated the rules would prevent up to 2,500 premature deaths and thousands of heart and respiratory incidents and save billions of dollars in health costs each year.
American Lung Association Selects Eleven Biggest ‘Clean Air’ Events of 2010 – Gant Daily: Jan 1, 2011
The American Lung Association has released its list of the 11 biggest ‘clean air’ events of 2010. Eight events marked milestones that provide greater protection from dangerous air pollutants, while three represented delays that have life-threatening consequences.
Cement is so common it’s nearly invisible. But the material that’s used to construct everything from bridges and office buildings to pools, sidewalks, and skate parks is one of the world’s largest contributors to greenhouse gas pollution. About 5 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions rise from the cement kilns that make the key ingredient of civilization’s hard surface areas. That’s roughly double the amount from the jet fuel burned in all global air travel.
A biologist's plan for radically reducing carbon emissions
Pregnant women who live near busy roads may be at a greater risk for delivering before term, suggests a new study from Japan.
The Portland Cement Association (PCA) Board of Directors elected Aris Papadopoulos as chairman during the association’s fall board meeting last week in Palm Beach, Fla. Papadopoulos succeeds Enrique Escalante of GCC of America and will serve a two-year term.
Congress focuses on whether the Environmental Protection Agency should go where no federal regulators have gone before and regulate greenhouse gases. But the agency did something more prosaic on Monday, albeit something it has not done effectively for the last 15 years or so: it put more than 100 cement kilns on notice that they will have to spend almost $1 billion annually to clean up the pollution they put into the atmosphere.
The rig Deepwater Horizon didn't explode and sink off the North Carolina coast. And the giant oil slick threatening fragile wetlands and shellfishing grounds isn't doing so in the Atlantic.
On 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, a fiery Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. argued that protecting the environment is “safeguarding American democracy.”
Burning fossil fuels costs the United States about $120 billion a year in health costs, mostly because of thousands of premature deaths from air pollution, the National Academy of Sciences reported in a study issued Monday.
Elevated levels of toxic mercury and other heavy metals are in neighborhoods around the Lafarge cement plant on Route 9W, according results from a volunteer project performed by a well-known state scientist.
Cement industry representatives say that proposed federal air emissions regulations announced last week will lead to closure of American plants and outsourcing of cement production to countries with lax environmental regulations.
Traverse City, Mich. | The Obama administration proposed sharp reductions Tuesday in airborne pollution from America’s 99 cement plants, including first-ever limits on mercury from older kilns.
In a boon for supporters of air-quality management, new findings show that the more particulate air pollution is reduced, the more life expectancy increases. For those wondering just how much effect cleaning up the air can have, researchers now have a much fuller picture. Reductions in particulate air pollution during the 1980s and 1990s led to an average five-month increase in life expectancy in 51 U.S. metropolitan areas, with some of the initially more polluted cities such as Buffalo, N.Y., and Pittsburgh showing a 10-month increase, researchers said Wednesday.
On December 22, 2008 a coal ash spill took place at the Kingston Fossil Plant, a Tennessee Valley Authority generating plant. Truly, the stories that have come out since that morning have shown what sort of environmental catastrophe we are dealing with.
The coal ash pond that ruptured and sent a billion gallons of toxic sludge across 300 acres of East Tennessee last month was only one of more than 1,300 similar dumps across the United States — most of them unregulated and unmonitored — that contain billions more gallons of fly ash and other byproducts of burning coal.
FRESNO, Calif. — Lowering air pollution in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley would save more lives annually than ending all motor vehicle fatalities in the two regions, according to a new study.
WASHINGTON, D.C. July 23, 2008 - For more than a decade after Congress told it to curb dangerous mercury pollution from cement kilns across the nation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refused to take action. Now, a new study from Earthjustice and the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) documents the consequences of the EPA's failure: Cement kilns emit mercury pollution - a threat to the health of pregnant women and children - at more than twice the level estimated as recently as 2006 by the EPA, which only started to collect data on the problem in 2007.
King Coal has been vindicated. After more than a century's reign of spewing out carbon, chopping down mountain-tops, and blackening lungs, the former despot has finally cleaned up his act. Or so he'd have you believe. Cough, cough.
With the weak enforcement of environmental and health regulations by the Bush administration - and the ever growing list of last minute rollbacks - it is no wonder that many states continue to take action into their own hands. Related to new coal plants, the Attorneys General in both South Carolina and New Jersey have spoken out against new coal-fired power plants in their state.
According to these notices, published Dec. 12th in the Daily Business Review, various mining companies want to create 8,000 acres of rock pits. A square mile is 640 acres. The rock miners are asking to mine an area about the size of Coral Gables which is about 11.8 square miles.