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If the past is any indication, a new cement plant in northern New Hanover County could harm the area’s environment. Cape Fear River Keeper Doug Springer took NewsChannel 3 on a boat ride to the old Roanoke cement plant near Castle Hayne today. The old plant closed more than 20 years ago, but most of the vegetation has still has not grown back. There is also evidence of erosion. Springer said a new plant could cause irreparable damage. "There’s about five hundred acres of wetlands bordering the northeast Cape Fear and Island Creek that is in jeopardy. The intention is to strip mine that area," said Springer. New Hanover County has offered Titan more than $4 million in tax incentives to build. Commission chair Bobby Greer said nobody knows how harmful the new plant will be until the proper studies are done. We tried to reach Titan America, but company representatives did not return our call.

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  • Guest Rapper

    1. What does any of this have to do with Titan? Titan didn’t abandon this site.

    2. If Titan wins approval to operate in this area, aren’t they going to be cleaning up the twenty year-old mess?

  • Voter

    Why are we even considering such a fiasco for a local industry? At what point do the folks who live here have a say in the decisions that impact us and our children? Just who do these politicians thinks they are? Who do they really work for? For the love of God, don’t insult me with the same lame answer of creating new jobs! For whom? So more folks can move here and put MORE strain on everything? Our quality of life and the protection of the environment must certainly begin to account for something. Am I missing something here? Are we too afraid of the short-term plight of the economy to ignore the long-term consequences of our cancer-producing decision making? Where’s the leadership of the people, by the people, for the people? How much more cancer and other chronic ailment must we endure before eyes begin to see?

  • Guest7969

    WHOA WHOA WHOA…I am on the river A LOT..there is ONE area that has little vegetation, HARDLY a large area. Even that ramp area you show in the photo has vegetation ALL around it and is surrounded by floating vegetation…even up the hill in that area has trees, etc. A little north of that is an area that is either a result of something the plant did OR an outcrop of rock…I never trespassed to find out…

    Evidence of erosion?…ride the river much? Go south of the bridge between the trestle and Castle Hayne Beach.

  • Erosion? A very mild statement. Actually after 20 years some of the old vegetation is starting to make an advance on the huge area of wasted land that was poisoned so bad that even a scrub oak couldn’t grow there. There are still oily spots where machinery once sat out over the clay banks just a few yards from the river.

    Titan won’t clean it up, just stir it up to make it a new wasteland that no one can enjoy but executives reaping a profit on the lives of poor southeastern NC people. I hate to think of Europe as being smarter than the U.S., but they got us on this one, they outlawed such operations like this. Small scale clean operations still make it well over there, but it has to be clean and green. Titan is going to so so large a company that no one will know what is going on until the cancer patients and deformed children show up in the ER. Big money buys friends and time. Uncle Reality works for Titan, and he comments on here all the time how good they are and knows all the best sites to see their company goodwill.

    Just think, you may never be able to go fishing in the Cape Fear, Northeast Cape Fear River again if Titan comes here. If one of their barges sank it would kill everything there. If they release the mercury that they ALREADY tell the EPA that they will release, everyone will be recommended to wear rubber gloves handling their days catch. Remember, no keeping them. Crab fishermen in the whole Cape Fear region will NOT have jobs. There goes 160 jobs….

    That would suck. Wearing rubber gloves to protect yourself from the mercury poisoned fish? Sounds crazy but it has happened here in the U.S. before. Don’t let your kids play outside either, they will have to be inside kids and have asthma too.


    Also you can write off the millions in $ spent in Wilmington each year on the local king mackerel tourneys. What do you think they do with all the fish from the weigh in’s? They feed them to poor people. Much more mercury and it will be attempted homicide by poison. Clearly the fish that are brought in are the largest of the kings out there, and the ones with the most mercury.

    Titan can’t be allowed to come operate here. Write a letter, e-mail to your local and state politicians, then kiss your kids and know you have done what is right.

  • Guest NC Resident

    I think that is a bit premature to say that Titan walked into a fiasco, Firstof all the meeting was not intended to be setup for a Q&A session. Second we all seen that our own administrators asked questions that were a bit absurd. I worked in the coal mines for years and have never heard of the term of hard coal and soft coal.There is a difference in the coal that the industry uses, a good example would be the one just down the road…oh that’s right, the one that nobody knew about but used the electricity from it everyday. Maybe the US should stop all industries and and let the other countries supply us with everything..but at that point who could afford to buy anything. I have an idea, turn off all the electricity, tear down all the houses, destroy all the cars and we can go back to the way of life 200 years ago.

  • Titan officials are still trying to get their act together after the fiasco that they stepped into last Monday night. The guy that applied for their permits cannot even recall information about how much of the toxic compounds are going to be released.

    Even the head of Titan has been widely quoted saying that “they will pollute no matter what, just something that happens when you have a cement kiln operation.”

    From past information, here is a fact for you. Thanks to loopholes in the Clean Air Act, cement plants are poorly regulated. The EPA was sued four times in the past ten years by a number of states and environmental groups for failing to regulate mercury emissions
    from coal-burning industries. North Carolina ranks in the top ten states with the highest mercury releases. In 2006, EPA toxic release data ranked New Hanover County with the sixth highest mercury releases in the

  • Guest7969

    “North Carolina ranks in the top ten states with the highest mercury releases”

    Can you cite WHY we have such high mercury releases…

    To the previous poster…it has NOTHING to do with Titan…

  • Jesse Holloman

    He said that the plant would produce CO2 as any burning does.

  • Guest7969

    YOU SERIOUS? I go by there ALL OF THE TIME and it is HARDLY a HUGE area. You guys act like industries are 100% clean…we ALL know they aren’t. Take ANY plant on 421, heck go to ANY business and you can pick out things that are going into our environment….

    You are REALLY overstating the damage..at least what I have seen from the river. From what I see…it is some kind of gypsum looking stuff and I’m not even for sure it wasn’t there to begin with…like I said..never trespassed to find out.

  • walter

    your letter is very interesting,in that you mentioned small cement plants are more likely to be better citizens,I think there lies the answer if the sell out politicians had done some homework they would have come to the same conclusion this is the best compromise ,but it won’t line any policitcal pockets so its up to us to push the point .isn’t america built on small business ?shouldn’t we encourage this?and discourage foriegn mega biz from taking advantage of us?

  • Guest7969

    NO NO NO, SIR…you cannot point the finger at YOURSELF and become 100% free from hurting the environment…YOU HAVE to point the finger down the road….stop being silly! IT’S NOT ME..IT’S SOMEONE ELSE….LOL…like I have said..I bet not ONE SINGLE person walked to that meeting the other day…and there were COUNTLESS SUV’s in the area…

  • kyle

    We’re not talking about global warming we are talking about a company affecting our ecosystem specifically. With all the sewer spills we’ve had over the past few years which destroyed shell fishing grounds and made the water unsafe to swim in we are now being faced with a facility that would impact our region in ways that we won’t even be aware of until its too late.

  • Justin Maurice

    To say that the US should shut down all industry would obviously be a bad idea. Your sarcasm did not go undetected although it did help to weaken your position on the issue. The fact is that the coal fire power plant is necessary to our community, the 3rd or 4th largest cement plant in the country is not essential to our local economy. The pollution it WILL create is not essential to our economy and will not only put us all in danger but could put an already beleaguered housing market further down the toilet. With the impact this plant will have on the economy and our local ecosystem the extra jobs and the increased tax revenue will be erased and replaced with ghost town that our elected officials created.


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