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Group rallies in opposition to Titan, air permit

READ MORE: Group rallies in opposition to Titan, air permit
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)-- Over a hundred residents of New Hanover County gathered today to rally in opposition to Titan. The cement company took a significant step towards coming to Castle Hayne earlier this week when they were issued an air quality permit by the DAQ. Protestors say they are not happy with the permit and plan to end the momentum that Titan is building.

"Why invite more pollution into our environment," said Kevin Murphy, a local business owner. "We're already one of the most polluted counties in the state, there's no reason to continue this."

Protestors say this permit will allow over 12,000,000 more pounds of pollution to enter the environment.

Doctor David Hill says these chemicals are strong contributors to human illness.

"They cause lung disease, they cause heart disease, they cause cancer," said Hill. "We have newer evidence suggesting that they cause strokes. They seem to contribute to pre-mature birth and even spontaneous abortion. So I'm very concerned anytime somebody comes in and wants to increase the levels of those pollutants in our area."

Titan Cement still has to go through a long local permit process, including trying to get a special use permit from New Hanover County before any of this comes to fruition.

Despite that, this group of concerned residents say they have reached a breaking point.

"There's a lot of smart people out here and they understand what it's going to mean to this community to bringin another polluter," said Kayne Darrell of Stop-Titan. "We've just decided enough is enough."

WWAY spoke to many people from Castle Hayne earlier in the week who say they welcome Titan Cement and the jobs that will come with the company.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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enough is enough

Titan has attempted to manipulate 'the rules' at the federal, state and local level. They have sued our citizens. They threatened our County government with legal action if they updated our zoning for heavy industry (last updated in 1969). They refuse to participate in moderated, balanced public debate on their economic benefit to this community.

Quit attacking your neighbors and look at their actions, not words. Enough is enough. We deserve better.

reply

Do you know these things you say about TITAN for an absolute certainty or are you just parroting what you have heard others say about them? Gossip has been the basis for most of the comments I have read so far today and most of the comments I have heard over the past months. Is there anyone out here who can produce physical evidence to validate the comments that are being made by the poorly educated in these matters? And by the way, if you do not know for certain, ask questions and stop throwing out opinion answers that only helps the hidden agenda people by masking the truth to the general reader or listener.

Common Sense based on fact

Why is it when I read these comments, the only factual and knowledgeable ones seem to come from those who oppose the building of this plant? To suggest that a questionable number of jobs (the number, qualifications and descriptions of local hires of which Titan refuses to reveal) justifies the level of negative impacts this plant will have on our community is NOT common sense. To suggest that they are "following the law" and so we should sit back and allow a foreign corporation to dictate how things should be here and what our future should look like while they try to manipulate the rules and sue our citizens is just plain stupid, This is OUR community and the majority of us realize bringing the fourth largest cement plant - one of the dirtiest industries in the world- to our densely populated, already too polluted area on the banks of our already mercury-impaired river, within 5 miles of 8500 school children who the medical literature say are especially susceptible to the almost 12 million lbs. of 140 toxins spewing from Titans 500 ft. smokestack is NOT what I call common sense. Allowing a foreign company to destroy thousands of acres of wetlands, dig a 2500 acre mine and drain millions of gallons of water every day from our aquifer,and then leave us with the mess while they go back to Greece with their profits is not OK. The laws are NOT protecting us and we are trying to change that -legislatively at the local, state and national level and also by standing up and speaking out when we see an injustice done in our community - even when Titan tries to shut us up by suing people.
To all those who argue for Titan without the facts - get informed and take the time to understand what it will really mean to have this billion dollar foreign bully in our backyard.

What Common Sense Are You Exercising?

The new Titan Plant is virtually a completely enclosed system of Manufacturing. The existing stack on the old plant that has not been in use in decades is slated to be taken down since the furnaces of the old manufacturing systems are obsolete. The new system is extremely clean. They build trout farms which they fill with their used processing water. Trout are so fragile that you can just about say boo to them and they will die. However, they thrive in these pools that have been built at other TITAN Plants which tells environmentalists that the water being returned to the wild is very, very clean. Get educated on what is and not on what was 25 or 30 years ago in the Cement Industry. It is not in Titan’s best interest to spend a couple of hundred million dollars or more on a plant that could easily be shut down by the EPA if they were to ignore the environment and pollute the land. By the way, TITAN employees, including upper management live and continue to live in close proximity to their new plants and they love their children too.

More facts...

Facts

● The EPA listed New Hanover as the #1 toxic emitting county in North Carolina out of all 100 counties in 2010 (1
).

● The EPA has also listed New Hanover as the second highest criteria pollutant emitting county in the state (behind Columbus Co.) in 2010.2

● New Hanover County is the second most densely populated county in NC, which means the industrial zoned areas and the biggest polluting facilities, are dangerously close to residential areas, schools, parks and athletic fields. (Where do your children play?)

● Under the new EPA guidelines, levels of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) in NHC were at unacceptable levels in 2010, putting the county in danger of non-attainment status. This could affect the ability to attract businesses and tourists. It could also affect our bond rating and cause financial problems for our county.3

● Over 61,400 tons of Criteria Pollutants were emitted in NHC in 2010. (That’s 122,868,000 lbs.!) 4

"Criteria pollutants" are used as indicators of air quality by the EPA and include Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrous Oxide (NOx), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Lead, and Particulate Matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5).

Over 3,000,000 pounds of hazardous/toxic pollution, which includes chemicals and carcinogens such as Benzene, Toluene, Mercury, Dioxin, Formaldehyde and Chromium, were released in 2010 in NHC!5

● Health Effects of Criteria Pollutants include difficulty breathing; decreased lung function; aggravated asthma; development of chronic bronchitis; irregular heartbeat; heart attacks; and premature death in people with heart or lung disease. Children and older adults are the most likely to be affected by pollution exposure. However, even if you are healthy, you may experience symptoms from exposure to elevated levels of pollution6. New studies suggest even at levels generally considered safe by federal regulations, exposure to PM 2.5 increases the risk of stroke by 34 percent.7

● Health Effects of Toxic Pollution include cancer, learning disabilities, infertility, birth defects and other reproductive problems, as well as a wide array of other health risks.8

Other Facts

● 369,000 NC children were diagnosed with asthma in 2010. One third of all NC children visited am emergency room or urgent care facility because of asthma. Asthma is the most common chronic illness in children in the U.S. with 14 million lost school days a year and a $2 billion health care cost nationally9. Scientific studies show air pollution is a major cause of asthma, most notably SO2, NOx, and Particulate Matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5)10

● The EPA states children may be more susceptible than adults to the harmful effects of particulate matter pollution.10

● New Hanover County emissions for 2010 for these pollutants were:11

SO2 - 21,322 tons
NOx – 6,230 Tons
PM 10 – 885 Tons
PM 2.5 – 527 Tons

● Now the NC DAQ says its fine for Titan to add to that another:12

438 tons/ year of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
1,533 tons/yr of Nitrogen Oxides (NOX)
200 tons/yr of Particulate Matter 10 – (PM 10)
160 tons/yr of Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM 2.5)

● The American Lung Association states that breathing in particulate pollution can increase the risk of early death, heart attacks, strokes and emergency room visits for asthma and cardiovascular disease. They also state that the current standards set by the EPA are insufficient in protecting the health of sensitive populations - such as children and the elderly, and those with heart and lung disease.13

● John Walke, the Clean Air Director for the Natural Resource Defense Council, says that the federal rules are “abysmal” when it comes to protecting our children and that the laws "just don't take into account the different susceptibility of children to pollution or the proximity of pollution sources to places children frequent".14

Sources for Facts

[1] http://obsearthenergy.blogspot.com/2012/01/toxic-releases-edge-up-in-nc....

2 http://triad.news14.com/content/local_news/647672/columbus--new-hanover-...

3 http://wilmingtonbiz.com/industry_news_details.php?id=2611

http://daq.state.nc.us/planning/so2/06-02-11_Fleming_SO2_boundary_transm...

4 http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/ToxicsReportServlet?ibeam=true&year=2010...

5 http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/ToxicsReportServlet?ibeam=true&year=2010...

6 http://www.epa.gov/oar/sect812/1990-2010/ch_apd.pdf

http://www.epa.gov/air/urbanair/

7 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120213185119.htm

8 http://www.epa.gov/oar/toxicair/newtoxics.html

9 http://www.asthma.ncdhhs.gov/docs/factsheets/2011/ChildrenAndAsthmaInNor...

10 http://www.epa.gov/region4/air/naaqs/asthma.htm

11 http://xapps.enr.state.nc.us/aq/ToxicsReportServlet?ibeam=true&year=2010...

12 See printouts for Titan’s Air Permit Emissions

13 http://www.stateoftheair.org/2011/health-risks/

14 http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/environment/2008-12-29-newschools_N....

Reply to FACTS

These are Wonderful Facts that you have presented about NH County and pollution. The only problem I have is the way you have used them. Titan was not around when all of this polluting was going on and many of the chemicals you refer to are used by the plants on HWY 421 North out of Wilmington but I do not see you protesting them. Their pollution is so sever that I have been driving down Interstate 40 around 3 AM with my window down and have been brought to tears and found it difficult to breath because of the chemicals coming from the plants on HWY 421. You can drive HWY 421 and choke on the same chemical releases on almost any given night.

Titan recognizes these pollution problems and has designed a plant to eliminate many if not all of the ways they could pollute. One thing is for sure, they offer a better plan than exists currently and you are not protesting the existing polluters. Why? Are you being paid to attack TITAN by their competitors? I only ask because I cannot find a single reason for you to suddenly take an interest in one company that is not operational or polluting but have ignored the existing companies that are polluting. Are you a paid agitator?

Just the facts

DAQ’s Mission Statement is “To Protect and Improve the Outdoor Air Quality of North Carolina”

The NC Division of Air Quality is doing the exact opposite of their mission statement by issuing Titan Cement their air permit. The DAQ chose Titan’s profitability over 12,000 citizens’ and 450 medical professionals’ voices that demanded Titan should not be built in New Hanover County. A permitting process that does not look at the science, medical literature and the will of the citizens is a flawed process.

New Hanover County is already the #1 toxic emitting county and the #2 most polluted county in NC (out of all 100 NC counties). It is also the second smallest county in the state.

The Division of Air Quality has just permitted Titan Cement to emit close to 12,000,000 lbs. every year into our already overburdened air!

Our local existing industries are already poisoning us by releasing over 61,400 tons of criteria pollutants3 and over 3 million lbs. of toxic chemicals into our air (2010 EPA data). The DAQ should do their job to protect citizens, instead of permitting more industries to cause harm. Clean and healthy, not polluted and sick should be their focus.

Step away from the emotions and look at the facts.

We all have a right to breath clean air, drink and swim in clean water. How can anyone dispute this?

negativity?

That funny that the rally held sunday should be considered negative. People concerned about more pollution. I call that work towards the greater good. We are very well informed. We are well educated . We are not afraid of a corporation with a history of high level pollution . Perhaps 1,200,000 additional pounds annually of pollutants doesn't ring a bell. Think about this...this additional pollution will hit you where it counts....in your wallet. maybe those of you in favor can answer a question for me that Titan refuses to. What is their median salary that the people employed there will earn. Not the average...the median. I doubt if they will give you that answer too. Face it...Titan isn't about truth and transparency....just good old fashioned greed at the expense of others.

negativity?

Are you well informed? Are you educated? Or are you another one of those easily excited people who are told at rallies by someone claiming to be an expert and in the know that the sky is falling so you run for cover? Much of the information you have used is decades old and does not apply to the proposed new facility by TITAN. Stop spreading gossip! Get some guts and ask some pointed questions. Maybe if the citizens of Castle Hayne and NH County were to go to TITAN without the agenda of trying to burn them at the stake, and ask in an honest fact finding discussion what TITAN was bringing to the area and how they were going to address pollution problems of past decades, they could get a lot of good, verifiable information that could put a lot of their fears to rest. But as long as fanatics and those who manipulate them for personal profit are allowed to get Media Coverage, people will remain ignorant and continue to cause harm to their environment and their economy through the lies and malicious gossip that these people propagate.

titan and jobs

Titan refuses to give an exact number of jobs that will be offered to the people of this area not already employed by them. No pay scales either. Before forming your opinion on Titan please do the following:
1- Ask Titan for the number of jobs.
2- Ask for the number of individual crafts, and job descriptions.
3- Ask for the requirements necessary to secure these jobs.
4- Ask for the pay scale for each of the crafts.
Bob Odom, in his own words said “We will fill these jobs to the best of our ability with local people.”
The “best of our ability” sounds like a predetermined cover all. Fast forward a few years and it is, Well we tried to hire locals, but no one was qualified.
Demand this information now. Demand this information while there is time to do what's necessary to qualify for these jobs. It is crazy that so many people carry the banner for Titan because of the illusion of jobs. Especially since they do not have any idea whether they, or anyone else in this area will ever get one. I am not asking you to change your mind about Titan. I am asking you to make Titan verify that your trust is merited. If they continue to remain silent, if they continue to refuse to answer these questions publicly, do they deserve your trust and support? People with nothing to hide are not afraid to answer questions. Titan deals in lawsuits, illusion, and silence. Is this trust worthy?

Hmmm...

100 people represent .00049% of NHC's population...basically..NOBODY showed up...

100 protests against Titan is BIG...

...compared to 5 rich guys with political and media collaboration in The Big Lie.There is not a politician who will support this loser project.

Hmmm...

160 jobs, this magical number Titan may or may not provide to this community, represents 0.128% of NHC's population...basically...NO JOBS ARE SHOWING UP EITHER! More pollution added to an already heavily polluted area for this?

No longer compatible with this region's long term economics

My problem with Titan is it creates a lot of environmental impact for little positive economic impact. 160 jobs in a county of over 200,000 is nothing We already have problems with the EPA over air quality and are up close to the limit. Bringing in Titan gives us less head room to bring in other manufactures who would likely employ more people.

IMO Water is a bigger issue than air. This isn't just a "Plant" it is a 1600 acre strip mine. Titan wants to dig down deeper putting them even closer to the aquifer that supplies drinking water to New Hanover county and SE Pender County. Since Ideal Cement closed in 1982 the population of this area has doubled. This is creating more pressure on the aquifer. Additionally Titan is going to be pulling several million gallons a day for their operation. Personally I'll take the health and interests of 200,000 Americans over that of profits for a Greek corporation any day.

Give it a break

Give me a break. You trust big government to do everything else for you, but not protect your air. You can’t have your cake and eat it too!
If you voted for Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., then shut up and let his people do their jobs.
If you voted Republican, God bless you and let’s make some cement.

Negativity

In a city of over 100,000 the negative antics of 100 makes news. I'm sure there were more than 100 people doing positive things this weekend. We just don't hear about them.

What's Negative About This?

I don't understand, what is negative about a bunch of business owners, families, friends, and neighbors getting together to express their concerns about their community...in a very positive way, i.e. games, street theater, and an open public forum for everyone to talk. Just because you don't agree with them, doesn't mean they did anything wrong or negative.

Reply

Maybe lonely and neglected people should find some other way of getting attention instead of supporting the attack on a better way of life than presently exists. Go out and feed the poor or help out at a Nursing Home if you want to feel good about yourselves.

You remind me of the JEWS that supported Hitler at his early rallies. They were saying power to the people and Hitler was saying power to me. They were just not listening to what he was NOT saying and it cost millions of them their lives and millions more their homes and a peaceful way of life. How much are you giving up by not looking for the truth in the arguments? Logic should be taught to every schoolchild from the moment they enter school until they graduate. Maybe, if we did this, we could get a better class of voters and expose some of these lying, greedy rabble-rousers for what they are.

Titan

Leave Titan alone. They are required to meet the very stringent standards of their permit. Those opposed are anti-business and anti-jobs.

Yeah, DAQ - shame on you....

...for following the law.

What these people fail to comprehend is that Titan, as long as it follows existing law, has as much right to be here as any of them. We are a society of laws, not a society of mob-rule.

If you don't like the law, get it changed. Unless you can do that, go home and stop wasting your time. We are going to abide by the law.

Love the masks! Nothing like wasting money,'eh? (Assuming, of course, they weren't stolen...)

What happens when they break the law?

What happens if they break the law? What happens if they fail to follow regulations? This happens ALL THE TIME and sometimes goes unchecked for years. What's the penalty? A payable fine. What's the community's cost? Their health and sometimes their lives. These are the realities of polluting industries.

Let me speak slowly for you

Once again, change the law.

If the law allows them to pollute and simply pay a nominal fine, CHANGE THE LAW.

Until you do that the law, as it exists, reigns supreme.

Disban DAQ, EPA & DNR

We don't need these government agencies any more. They have become useless. We have these new people that will write new regulations and make the decisions about what companies can and can't do business in our fair land. We call them the fascists. These fascists will control all business transactions and make determinations about what is best for our health. HAIL TO THE FASCISTS!!

The Titan Lie has been exposed

The industry is a cartel. Go read "The Sultans of Cement". The incentives were based on a series of claims that were proven to be outright lies. It is one thing to be angry that the lies have been exposed. Far worse to keep a pathetic attack on the capitalists who exposed the clumsy pack of lies. Sure the health lunatics are annoying. But far better than the pathetic gang in the inner circle who tried to defraud the entire county for personal gain. Bad form Bobbies.

The Cement Industry

The cement industry lost a big one in the Hudson Valley of NY state in 2005 when the Pataki administration denied permits for the big Swiss cement manufacturer Holcim to build a mega-plant along the banks of the Hudson River. The company spent $58 million in that battle, and never got a single permit. So I'm thinking that Titan isn't alone in this Wilmington fight-- their allies in the cement industry are probably hoping and praying that another high-profile cement plant application doesn't get shot down.