NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Members of the Commerce Committee denied a bill that would have delayed the permitting process for the planned Carolinas cement plant.
Senator Julia Boseman introduced the bill in Raleigh Tuesday morning, but it didn't get enough votes to pass.
Dozens of Wilmington-area residents opposed to the Titan American plant watched as Boseman's effort collapsed.
"I think the turnout of citizens, especially children today, speaks volumes of how important it is for people who live in New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender," said Jack Spruill.
The New Hanover County Democrat has tried several times this year to maneuver lawmakers into delaying the cement plant project.
"I am totally disgusted with the North Carolina Senate and the members of this committee who voted not to even allow discussion after all of these people came up here to express their concerns," said Boseman. "Kids came here from out of school. We know air pollution lowers kids I.Q.'s. Well, that's okay for North Carolina; well, it's not okay for me and these citizens."
State and local officials offered Titan about $4.5 million in incentives to open a cement plant and stone quarry on the Northeast Cape Fear River.
Opponents of the plant say it will cause health and environmental problems, but supporters say it can bring in many jobs.
Bob Odom, General Manager of Carolinas Cement, responds to Sen. Boseman's Senate Bill 699:
"We are pleased that the NC Senate Commerce Committee decided not to take any action today on legislation that would have a negative impact on our region and state. Now is the time to open doors to responsible economic development, not close them.
Carolinas Cement is proposing to build a world-class, environmentally friendly cement plant that will bring much-needed new jobs and investment to New Hanover County. We look forward to moving this project forward and building one of the most technologically advanced cement plants in the nation, right here in North Carolina."