With signs in hand, protesters of all ages lined the street in downtown Wilmington to show their opposition to a proposed Titan America cement plant in Castle Hayne. "This is the wrong thing to do and we need to keep the environment as safe as possible," said protestor Rosemary Toumey. "If you have children, it's a real big deal,” said Allen Walker. “With little ones, it's a whole different program." The group UNCW ECO organized the rally with a few goals in mind. They want to hold elected commissioners voting to offer more than four million dollars in tax incentives to Titan. They also want to show their support for a recent bill proposed by State Senator Julia Boseman, which would put an 18-month moratorium on cement plants in North Carolina. They also want to raise awareness about clean air and water, and promoting green jobs. "Although we are in opposition to Titan Cement, we are not in opposition to economic development in this area, but we believe it can be done in a way that is going to improve the environment," said David Pinsky of UNCW ECO. While the rally continued outside, the commissioners meeting started inside. The whole process is at the environmental review stage. Commissioner Bobby Greer said it is really out of the county's hands. "The county commissioners have made their decision and we've made a contract,” he said. “We would be liable if we backed out of that contract." The state and federal environmental permits may be the turning point in this debate. Titan is pursing its cement plant and the Titan opponents are not backing down. Titan America said the plant would bring 160 jobs to the area and vow emissions standards would be stricter than the EPA's.
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