Titan held its last informational forum on its plans for a cement plant in Castle Hayne Monday night. But for many residents, there are concerns that still remain. Members of the group Stop Titan believe re-opening the cement plant in Castle Hayne will bring poisoned air and cancer. Neighbors of Titan's Roanoke Plant say pollution hasn't been an issue, since the company took over. Still residents here have concerns. They say the jobs aren't worth the pollution. ”There are countless, almost an infinite list of businesses in this community that put out no pollution and create at least 161 jobs,” said Cliff Cash who does not support the plant. Titan said it will provide more than 1700 jobs during construction. General Manager Bob Odom says that number is probably closer to 1300. Once the plant is up and running, about 160 people will work there permanently. Another 200 plus will gain jobs as truck drivers, or maintenance workers. Titan representatives vow emissions standards will be stricter than the EPA's. For some locals, that is just not enough. “State governments are bringing lawsuits against the federal EPA. Obviously the EPA can't be trusted to regulate these types of pollution,” claimed Cash. Titan's Virginia plant manager says importing cement to this area may actually cause more harm to the environment, than making it here. “Pollutants that come out are a global issue and that's what we're learning with carbon dioxide and the amount of materials that come from overseas,” said Kevin Baird, plant manager. Still, Stop Titan said Castle Hayne did not have the large residential population in the 1970's that it does now, and it is no longer suitable for an industrial plant. They also believe that because of the nearby water sources, that our area is more vulnerable to mercury pollution. In Virginia, the plant lies about a quarter mile from a drinking source, which according to county commissioners, is unpolluted. Titan officials say when they are done mining in a quarry, a new water habitat is usually created. The company has also promised to make their technology state of the art as part of their $450 million investment in the plant.
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