Carolinas Cement, a subsidiary of Titan America, plans to open a cement plant in Castle Hayne. To say the plan is controversial is an understatement. On Thursday, interested parties discussed the purpose and need for the plant. Before Carolinas Cement obtains permits for the proposed Castle Hayne cement plant, the Army Corps of Engineers has to issue an environmental impact statement for the area. Thursday the Corps of Engineers took the first step in that process. Interested parties including the federal government and wildlife agencies met to discuss the new plant. For Penny Schmitt of the Army Corps of Engineers, the meeting served one purpose. “Getting all the information we need to have a good scope of work for this environmental impact statement to make sure that we address all the legitimate interests and concerns.” Carolinas Cement used the meeting to show the purpose and need for the new plant. “I think it showed that the level one work that's been done so far, still shows there's a need for a cement plant in North Carolina,” said general manager Bob Odom. Those opposed to the cement plant say they want more than the minimum standards. The environmental impact statement won't be issued any time soon. Schmitt said the process usually takes more than a year-and-a-half to complete.
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