Titan America issued a statement Wednesday, May 5, calling a recent court decision to apply a lengthy environmental review to its proposal in Castle Hayne “regrettable” - reports the Lumina News.
“We at Titan America are disappointed in the Judge’s recent decision about the application of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) to the Carolinas Cement project,” the statement read. “We’re evaluating next steps.”
The statement comes just two days after Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens overturned an administrative ruling that would have given Titan’s proposed cement facility and limestone quarry along the Cape Fear River in New Hanover County a pass on SEPA.
SEPA is a state environmental act that requires certain companies to undergo an environmental review that can stretch on for two years before its construction and operations may be permitted.
Titan can appeal the judge’s ruling, though the statement released Wednesday did not declare an intention to do so.
Titan had begun a federal environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in the summer of 2008 that would have fulfilled the requirements of SEPA, state and federal officials said.
But Titan put that process on hold to pursue its air quality permit through the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
“Titan America’s officials followed the process the State of North Carolina required of us to the letter of the law,” the statement read. “We find it regrettable that the guidelines set forth at the onset of this project regarding SEPA and NEPA are at cross purposes with the Judge’s decision.
“We also believe this decision affects much more than the Titan project and sets an anti-industry precedent that could put future commerce of North Carolina at great risk.”
Titan officials have said the company was planning to undertake the environmental review process following the issuance of a final air permit.
A draft air permit was issued in 2009 and a final permit was expected sometime this year, though DENR officials refused to provide a timeline on when that might have occurred.
Now, however, all work regarding Titan’s final air permit has ceased pending an appeal of Judge Stephens’ ruling or the completion of an environmental review.
by Brian Freskos
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Thanks, Lumina News