‘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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.