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CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WWAY)– What’s it like to live in a town with a cement plant? Hundreds of people came out to Stop Titan’s first ever Picnic in the Park to find out.

“I don’t care if they go somewhere else, they just don’t need to be anywhere near parks and water and your children,” said Alexandra Allred, who lives near a cement plant in Texas.

Even though the NC Division of Air Quality has granted Titan America an air permit many Castle Hayne residents are still fighting the would-be employer.

The message at Sunday’s event, and those who delivered it, were a little different than at just any anti-Titan rally.

“I didn’t know anything about the cement industry until I moved to my town that’s the cement capital of Texas,” said Allred. “About three months after living there my perfectly healthy boy got very sick and he was hospitalized five times in six months.”

People from towns across the country that are home to cement plants came and shared their horror stories Sunday.

Many of them believe that terrible things are happening because of the levels of pollution emitted from these plants.

“We have sick people. It’s not only cancer, we have accelerated asthma, which they finally agreed to that we have,” said Jeff Galemore, who lives near a cement plant in Kansas. “We have MS, we have kidney problems. My sister’s had a kidney transplant, there’s five in the community.”

Stop Titan members say these stories have reinvigorated their resolve and that they plan on continuing to battle the cement plant.

“It’s great for us to learn about these personal stories and to hear how dangerous it is for all of us, for our children and for our adults,” said Tracy Bruno.

“I took away that in reality it can be worse than we actually think it can be,” said Tom Mcgraw.

Sunday’s event comes days after the Southern Environmental Law Center filed a legal challenge against the NC Division of Air Quality’s permit for Titan America.


Comment on this Story

  • guesty

    That would take effort to accomplish and is much harder than sitting around beating on a drum.

  • mightyrebel

    I appreciate WWAY’s coverage of this interesting and informative event. I have to say after listening to the speakers tell their stories at Sunday’s event, we all should be concerned. Their stories are heartfelt and compelling and to hear how they must fight so hard just for the right to breath clean healthy air is heartwrenching. I found it very interesting when they talked about these polluting corporations coming to their towns and handing out money in the form of gifts and grants, getting on the town boards and in the civic groups….Because Titan is doing the same thing here. When someone who says he worked as a government inspector of cement plants for 15 years and saw every day how the regulations did not protect the communities, why wouldn’t I believe him? What motivation would he have for not telling the truth? Should I instead believe the billion dollar foreign corporation whose only motivation is the bottom line? The corporation who sues citizens for speaking out about their legitimate concerns? And refuses to answer any questions from its future neighbors? Or would I believe the mother whose perfectly healthy son got sick after moving near a cement plant – when all the medical studies say the pollution coming from those plants is known to make children sick. I am utterly amazed at some of the ignorant comments posted here. When it is their child who gets sick, their well that dries up, or their parent who dies of a premature heart attack, maybe then they will learn the facts….Unfortunately by then it will be too late

  • Rick Wilson


    The people against Titan are not a “mob” or the “mob.” From what I have been told, The “Real Mob” as in The Greek Mafia is who owns Titan. Can you or will you tell me if this is true? Mob rule is what Titan does to the environment and to the people that have the misfortune to live near their plants. This is our country. We have the right to question what happens here. We have the right to demand our leaders do what’s right instead of kissing up to foreign corporations. We have the right for this whole underhanded process to be explained and to be told who will benefit from it. Follow the money and the truth will be revealed. Then and only then will we know if all the laws have been followed. Why don’t you sign your name? If you believe what you say, sign it. Otherwise you come off as a paid or worse yet, an unpaid mouth piece for Titan. So…………………for the 83rd time, sign what you say, or tell Titan to take credit for what they write. Is there a backbone, or a yellow streak?

  • Amazed at the ignorance

    I am amazed at the negative comments on here. We are worried about everyones health in the area and people are wanting facts about health issues associated with cement plant pollution. Try googling it, there is a ton of info. Money does make the world go around and you will be needing plenty of to pay your medical bills!

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    1. We are a nation that respects the rule of law, not mob rule.

    2. If Titan can meet all environmental requirements UNDER CURRENT LAW, they have a right to their permits and a right to build. The general statutes of the state of North Carolina say so.

    3. If you don’t like that, your course of action is to get the law changed. Your fight is in Raleigh. Tighten the environmental requirements in the law and you will be able to stop future heavy industry from locating in the county.

    4. Until you get those laws changed, please refer to Number 2.

  • Guest67

    Would you care if it was going in your area? You don’t have to answer we all know the answer.

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