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Environmentalists question goal of 2011 Titan America land purchase

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It appears Titan America is looking to cement its plans in New Hanover County.

The company's plant near Castle Hayne may be one step closer to becoming economically viable thanks to a land purchase kept quiet for years. Tax records show Titan purchased nearly 1,800 acres off of Holly Shelter Road under the name of Sidbury of the Carolinas, LLC. That has some environmentalists worried what may be next.

"It comes across that they're not being open and honest with the public," said Mike Giles of the NC Coastal Federation.

While looking over Titan's recent request to increase the amount of air pollution allowed from its proposed facility they noticed something suspicious about 1,800 acres directly across from the old cement plant Titan owns near Castle Hayne. The company listed on the deed is owned by Titan America's vice president.

"It's common practice for a business to undertake real estate transactions under a different name," Titan America Spokeswoman Kate McClain said in a statement. "It's a typical real estate structure for limitation of liability."

Giles says the land deal may be the least of the area's worries. He says the mine that he thinks will soon follow is of larger concern.

"The issue we have is mining deep into where that limestone is located is in our Castle Hayne and Pee Dee Aquifer, where we obtain a lot of our drinking water," Giles said. "Burning limestone has a high mercury content, as does the coal, so you're getting a double whammy."

McClain says the Coastal Federation's concerns are overblown.

"Carolinas Cement will operate within the national ambient air quality standards, will consistently work to ensure the safety of public health and the environment and will operate the cleanest, most technologically advanced cement plant in the world," she said.

That leaves Giles with an unanswered question.

"They've already said they can meet the lower limits. Why do they want to emit more?" he said.

We asked Titan what its plans were for the land it purchased. We have not yet received an answer.

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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Sudbury, land, Titan

http://www.bizapedia.com/nc/SIDBURY-OF-THE-CAROLINAS-LLC.html

The above link provides details on Sidbury of the Carolina's. That is the firm behind the Titan land deals. When questioned by the Lumina News about Sidbury and the land maneuvers they were involved in with Titan, Bob Odom said, "I have to plead ignorance." But one commenter above is correct. A Titan Cement executive along with Scott Sullivan of Cameron Development are the two names filed with the state of NC as being at the helm of Sidbury of the Carolina's.

JOBS

Good for Titan, we need the jobs in the area.

Titan

Your reporter will never receive any answers from Titan. Just blanket statements from their chief shill Kate McClain. Titan must believe that they have everything in place to be approved or they would not be purchasing any more land. Why do they feel the need to hide these purchases? Woody White has already said that he wants to remove New Hanover County's Special Use Permit. This is the same Woody White that just set a record on the amount of money spent to become a County Commissioner. Actions like this just might explain why someone spends over $125,000.00 to get elected to a job that pays a little less than $17,000.00 a year for 4 years. This is also the same Woody White that just used an illegal process to remove a sitting County Commissioner. If the process stands, he will get to hand pick another Commissioner, giving New Hanover County 2 of the 5 Commissioners that were not elected by the public. This will also give White a 3 to 2 majority for the next year and a half. Titan has claimed all along that they will follow the rules. They claim that they can meet the current pollution regulations. They claim that they care about the environment and the people that live around their plants. Then why are they trying to change the rules even before they build this plant? It is my opinion that Titan never has planned to follow the current pollution standards. They will use any means necessary to reduce or eliminate rules and regulations until they are able to operate all their plants the way they do in Egypt and their home country of Greece. These are not plants, they are cesspools and prove that Titan does not care about the environment or the people that live around their plants. Actions speak much louder than words, and if Titan doesn't even care about the environment and people of their own country, does anyone believe they care about that here?

Correction Rick

With all due respect;
"If the process stands, he will get to hand pick another Commissioner, giving New Hanover County 2 of the 5 Commissioners that were not elected by the public. This will also give White a 3 to 2 majority for the next year and a half."

He will of course pick another Republican with views similar to his own.
He will also have the elected officials that believe as he does.
He will have a 4 to 1 advantage for giving the green light to Titan and I don't believe anyone in the GOP on the Commission has the "stones" to vote against Woody.
As a voter? I have to stones to stand up to anybody from any party if they do things I don't like.

Vog