My Turn, Your Turn: Titan bill - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

3.24.09

My Turn, Your Turn: Titan bill

Posted: Updated:

By Gary McNair - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - It seems like most people have an opinion on the proposed Titan Cement plant.   

A few months ago I did a commentary stating the company should be allowed to build and operate in Castle Hayne, provided they meet or exceed the mandated environmental safety standards.

Last week it became clear that the opposition wants to add more roadblocks. Senator Julia Boseman introduced a bill that would put a moratorium on the permits Titan needs.

This maneuver really bothers me.  Please try to put aside your feelings about Titan - and then ask yourself what message this is sending to companies who might be looking to locate in the Cape Fear area?

They just might learn from Titan's experience that they don't want to face the risk of being slapped around by a Senator who can bog them down in red tape and make them clear hurdle after hurdle.  They'll end up looking elsewhere - taking all their jobs with them.

In these tough times, what we need is real leadership, not a politician pandering to her base.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at yourturn@wect.com.   

 

Viewers' Response:

As a tax payer, I am appalled that an elected official is participating in an attempt to stop progress. I expect my officials to be working to lower my taxes and increase employment opportunities, by bringing into our state new industry whenever possible. I don't believe the negative press about the impact this industry has on the environment. Their track record is clear.

In these days of doom and gloom about the economy, how can we turn down new jobs? The state and local government relies on the taxes companies pay as well as the revenue from tax paying employees  for so many programs. We need new businesses. We need to maintain a reputation as a state friendly to industry not the opposite.  

Senator Boseman please reconsider your support of this splinter organization.

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I send you this communication with alarm, confusion and distress. I understand that Senator Boseman has drafted legislation that is solely aimed at preventing Titan America from building the proposed Carolinas Cement Company facility near Wilmington.

This would be unprecedented - a first for the state of North Carolina. Never has a company been recruited by state and local government and then summarily dis-invited. The effect would be devastating. Industry site selectors would be reluctant to consider the Cape Fear region when we have demonstrated that a small band of misguided environmentalists and "NIMBY" activists could have such a far-reaching impact on new industry and new jobs.

The question is why? Titan America is a responsible company with a strong track record of environmental stewardship, economic development and community support. Titan has done nothing wrong and before all the facts are in, a self-appointed "jury" of misguided activists has found them unworthy - guilty of nothing more than wanting to build a manufacturing facility that will be sensitive to the environment and create much needed jobs.

The fear of Carolinas Cement's negative impact is totally unfounded:

  • Carolinas Cement's wetland strategy is environmentally sensitive and will have minimal impact. Sensitive wetlands will be preserved and it will use "cutover" timberland for future mining needs
  • Plant emissions - including mercury - will be subject to the toughest standards drafted by the federal government.
  • The Castle Hayne aquifer will not be impacted. The plant will run on a closed loop water system, meaning all water use will be recycled within the plant. In addition, Carolinas Cement is actively exploring ways to add to the water supply by sending surplus water from its mining operations to the local authority,

One has to ask what new industry will be targeted next - heavy machinery, automotive or perhaps even the clinical research space like PPD, Quintiles, and our company, Inclinix? Will Senator Boseman, and others, ultimately attack our industry because of misinformation such as labeling humans "guinea pigs" in this highly regulated and valuable industry?

We believe that some members of the "anti" groups are well meaning but misinformed. However, if a legislator rolls the legislative dice to serve the interests of a few, will our children and grandchildren have a community that allows them to grow and prosper while living in Wilmington?

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I was just sitting here seething over the fact that a company jumps through the hoops to meet the demands of the current rules, wants to support and assist the community and since they are making headway, Boseman decides that " we should just change the rules.' You are right what message is this sending to companies looking to come to this area?

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As the spouse of someone who got a job with the incentives given to General Electric a few years back, I am well aware of the benefits of our community courting businesses.  However, we should always look at companies that wish to help our community become safer and healthier.  Our air is already at a level of pollution that is in competition with much larger cities in our state.  If you dispute the effects of mercury, I will give you one simple example:  pregnant women are warned not to eat any fish that may contain mercury.  That's a warning against eating even one fish.  If Titan comes to our community, we will breathe that air every day.  I don't need long-term studies to tell me that any amount of mercury is bad for our health and the health of my children.

Please, instead of simply bashing Senator Boseman who is responding to the community's reaction, it would be nice if you could highlight other companies who want to come to our area and bring even more jobs.  Where are the incentives for them?  There is a solar panel company who wants to come here and bring more jobs than Titan.

Finally, with experience in how government does not regulate what it is supposed to, I am not putting my faith in Titan's claims that it will follow government regulations.

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Your commentary about Julia Boseman  putting a moratorium on Titan Cement coming to Wilmington seems a little hypocritical.

A moratorium is a necessary measure to insure that standards are met and that the residents of our county are safe from environmental pollutants.

What this tells me is that our senator is doing an effective job in protecting New Hanover County residents from a potentially hazardous endeavor.  Hopefully other companies considering coming to Wilmington will realize that we as a community welcome safe and environmentally sound businesses.

As a Wilmington native and mother of two children, I choose to read the facts and information provided by many different sources that deem Titan potentially dangerous to our area.  My opinion is that money shouldn't be the priority here, but instead the health and safety of the many citizens who choose to reside in our area.

I am thankful that Senator Boseman is proactive in keeping it clean and safe, and feel that the term "pandering to her base" seems very biased.  Politicians that do what is right should be applauded for their efforts, not criticized and ridiculed.

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People are trying to become more healthier rather than becoming sicker than they already are if Titan comes to Wilmington.
Jobs are worthless if you can't work due to health issues.
These health issues will really become hazardous for everything and everyone especially since the toxins will be released into the air.
Plant life would die if they are exposed to the toxins.
Me and my entire family are healthy minded and we OPPOSE Titan Cement coming to Wilmington.

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Doesn't it bother you also that your county commissioners didn't do all there homework and made a hasty decision to offer Titan our county to pollute? The bill is not banning the plant it's just to put the plant and it's supporters in check. I believe that the Senator is just doing her job and making sure that our county commissioners aren't making hasty decisions like Titan. And if other companies decide not to come here based on the the Senator looking out for the citizens and our environment then who wants them here anyway. The fact is we live in a special place, not everyone has to worry about wetlands and the like, and we need to be cautious with plans as large as Titan because of where we live

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The example this sets for business is-please come bring your polluting industry to our pristine environment. Green industry will punish us for these decisions while they are trying hard to reduce their carbon footprint. Green industry attracts green industry dirty industry attracts dirty industry. The backroom corporate welfare is appalling. With a son with autism and  asthma less then 5 miles THERE WILL BE Civil Disobedience!! Kudos to Boseman WHATEVER IT TAKES not in my backyard!!

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The process by which the deal with Titan America was struck is and has always been broken. It was done without the public's knowledge and our representative, who is born and reared here in this region is doing whatever is necessary, with BIPARTISAN support, (not as you falsely claim, "appealing to her base") to protect this great area from the toxic infiltration of this company. See, on one issue, we all agree: protecting our ground water, preserving our wetlands, and having a safe and sanitary place to live is our Christian duty and our responsibility in New Hanover County. 

The very same LEADER who helped bring to us the jobs from Verizon, expansion of the film industry and who has brought more to this region in terms of money and resources than anyone in the last two decades from the Senate in Raleigh is the very same leader you question as making this area less attractive to companies. WRONG. Senator Boseman made it so that companies coming here will know that we are the best area for them to come because we treat this area with respect and we want them to follow the rules and if they do, we will even offer them incentives. But, come at us with harm to the fragile ecosystem that we have, endanger our families, our children, and our wildlife, and you will be in for a fight because we elect people who kick ass and take names to protect us all! Thank God for Senator Boseman and for all who see that our strength is our solvency in land, business, and people.

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I would like to thank you for your courage to speak out in favor of allowing due process to proceed on the Carolina's Cement project.  I am an environmental health and safety profession who lives within 5 miles of the proposed plant site who is in support of the project. I have been impressed with Carolina Cements efforts toward environmental stewardship and protection and look to them as a leader in the field.

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You were right on the mark in your Saturday comments regarding Senator Boseman and the Titan Cement Plant controversy.  You can't expect any new companies if you are going to change the rules on them after the fact.  Those protestors who went to Raleigh traveled on I-40.  I wonder if they had the first thought about where all that cement came from.

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Right on!  Julia Boseman is doing exactly that;  Pandering to her base. Politicians are held in low esteem for spending the majority of their time working to get reelected.  It is shameful.  We need to start from scratch...all new elected officials...Republican and Democratic alike.  After the politicians see how the electorate felt about them, they can run again at their next opportunity.  A good analogy is comparing the First Continental Congress with the present Congress.  Those old guys didn't do such a bad job!  I'm glad WECT is not afraid to disagree with "popular" politicians.

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