In April 2008 New Hanover County Commissioners approved more than four-million dollars in tax breaks to help convince Titan Cement to reopen the facility. In exchange, Carolinas Cement, a Titan subsidiary, promised more than 150 jobs and a 450-million-dollar investment. But many residents in the area didn't like the idea; fearing the plant would cause health risks and air and water pollution. That is why they formed the group Stop Titan, to try and prevent the cement company from moving in. The group held a series of meetings highlighting the potential risks that could accompany the plant. Carolinas Cement responded by hosting meetings of its own, and applying for environmental permits. A year ago, WWAY accompanied several New Hanover County residents on a tour of a Titan Cement Plant in Roanoke, Virginia. Many of the residents left in support of reopening the plant in Castle Hayne. This year, Titan has moved closer to its goal. State Senator Julia Boseman's proposed moratorium that would have delayed any permitting until next year failed to move through the legislature. Last month, the state approved the plant's draft air quality permit, which brought us to Tuesday's public hearings; giving citizens the chance to voice their opinion of the plant and permit.
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