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

7.30.09

My Turn, Your Turn: Titan Cement Plant moratorium

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By Gary McNair - bio|email

This week, State Senator Julia Boseman once again introduced a bill that would put a moratorium on any permits given to the proposed Titan Cement Plant in Castle Hayne.  Thank goodness, within moments, her colleagues shot it down.

"This is everything that people hate about politics and government," said Boseman.  "This is big business ruling instead of citizens."

Well Senator Boseman, I don't want to use the word hate, but let me tell you what disgust me about politics and government.

I'm bothered when you continue to use your position to represent one small fringe group to target a single company with this kind of legislation. 

The vast majority of area leaders and organizations have confidence in the strict environmental standards Titan will have to meet before they can be permitted to build.   

They want the experts to decide if this makes sense - and the only way to do that is for the permitting process to go forward.  These people do not shout or protest, but they also deserve your representation in Raleigh.

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

Emailed response from viewers:

I think the Titian plant would be a great addition to the area that is already lacking in jobs.  One of my concerns is how much wetlands are they going to destroy in the process, and are they planning on rebuilding wetlands somewhere else?  I have heard mecury and its changes with every article I read about them.  How much mecury do they plan on emmiting?

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Try reading about this company and the damage they will cause and you will be up there in Raleigh with a red shirt on.....

238 Doctors have signed on against this plant for Health reasons! They are being sued in Florida for violations, do we need a company with a bad record. It's a small amount of jobs (local will be low paying) its a Greek company. Building has slowed to a halt in NC so we do not need cement locally Increase trucks on our roads. and let's not forget the aquifer - They a paying lobbyist daily ask yourself Why?  Not because they love NC but because they can make money and no one else wants them.

we just don't need this....Why take the chance???

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Your recent commentary bothered me.  You described those citizens opposed to the construction of the Titan Cement Plant as a "shout(ing) or protest(ing)", "small fringe group."  We may not all be shouting and protesting but we (a large population of area residents) are NO "small fringe group."  You mention a "small fringe group" (i.e. "area leaders and organizations) has confidence in said standards.  Of course they would have confidence in the results to be found by experts that they would have hired.  The "vast majority of area leaders and organizations" is more of a "small fringe group" than citizens opposing the Titan Cement Plant.

You also fear that "they" (i.e."vast majority of area leaders and organizations") lack representation in Raleigh.  Fret not Mr. McNair, as you heard in the voting there are many legislators who don't mind voting for matters that won't affect their backyards.  Moreover Titan leaders have several lobbyists and even more monetary backing representing their interests.

You also subscribe that "The only way to do that (letting "experts... decide if this makes sense") is for the permitting process to go forward."  If the permitting process were to advance, legislators would be even less likely to oppose Titan's construction because they would appear to be admitting being wrong or misguided.

Ms. Boseman is representing our area residents and our interests; not the "vast majority of area leaders and organizations" and certainly not the interests of Titan.

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Thank you for your response to Julia Boseman and her efforts to delay / stop Titan Cement in Titan's efforts to "Re-Build" and "Upgrade" the old Ideal Cement Plant. You are correct that she, Ms. Boseman, should represent all the people in her area and not just the selected few.

I too have tried to contact Ms. Boseman expressing my views in favor of Titan Cement. I have stated that Titan Cement will have to meet the new environmental standards, bring jobs both direct and indirect to the plant, and manufacturing is the only way will build wealth in our area.

Ms. Boseman stated that businesses will leave if Titan Cement was allow in New Hanover. I did request this list of businesses from her, but did not receive any response.

Again, THANK YOU Mr. McNair for expressing my views too.

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Great job, your comments on 7/30 concerning Titan were right on target! Thanks for speaking up for the large majority of us that quietly go about the business of earning a living. It takes courage to confront the focal few that attempt to use legislative trickery to block a much needed project.

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i am very pleased that the titan cement bill was squashed. there are so many paoeple that can and will benifit from this plant coming into new hanover county. i really wish that people would stop and think that this is for the best that titan cement puts their plant here. and they would put it here if it wasnt safe for the environment. they have put all of their ducks in a row, so that the envirnment will be protected.

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Boo on you. You label as "fringe" the many, many people who are for keeping a good quality of life in the greater Wilmington area by bringing in business and industry, which make sense for our coastal and wetland environment-- and Titan Cement definitely does not fit that description.  
 
You exaggerate how broad your own big business group is. And if Senator Boseman agreed with you, rather than with the average people, families, and small businesses who will be at risk due to the environmentally unfriendly industry you want, you would be giving her kudos.  
 
And, you know as well as the rest of us that the EPA and other government bodies who are supposed to protect us are not doing an adequate job-- otherwise we wouldn't have the air and water pollution and contamination problems we live with on a local, country, state, and national basis. --And studies are saying people should be concerned about the amount of mercury in new light bulbs?! What about cement plants near schools, neighborhoods, and the watershed?  
 
The story you are spinning is rubbish-- literally and figuratively!  

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Maybe you need to get out a little more and find out what is really going on! Your statement that it is only a "fringe group" opposing Titan is completely wrong. The vocal opposition to the cement plant is representative of the dominant view of the informed citizens in the entire New Hanover County. Your uninformed comments represent that of only a few people who don't know (or don't care) about the damage the cement plant will cause in this county.  

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As a constuction profesional, I am amazed that Senator Bosman who lives in a house with a concrete foundation is opposed to a plant that provides the material that keep her house afloat. Concrete plants have had to deal with shortages of cement and stone for a number of years. I will be glad to help her move to a house made of mud and sticks if she would just get out of politics.

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Well said!  I am glad someone has decided to speak out against Julia Boseman.  She, like many other politicians, don't get it.  Her peers in Raleigh finally shut her down in the best way they could without exchanging words with her.  They used the political process just like she has done.  It is time for her to step down or start representing everyone in her district.  What is her idea for bringing business into her district? 

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this is my turn i think the only thing that is pollutionis boseman and she should be trying to help instead of putting down jobs around here she needs to pray to God we have someone trying to help with jobs around wilmington

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You are way off base with your criticism of Julia Boseman.  While I have never been a big Boseman fan, it's my opinion she is representing the majority of people in the area.  The subject has received a lot of attention and discussion, and at least in my circle of acquaintances, at least 75% are opposed to the plant.

The treatment she received in Raleigh is extremely unusual, and indicates some important people are on the take.

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I, a mature and disciplined individual with a Master's degree and 22 years of professional experience in the diplomatic corps (not to be confused with some fist-shaking, tree-hugging, Berkenstock-wearing surfer dude type you appear to think all opposed to Titan's tactics are), used to be naive enough to believe that the NC laws on the books were sufficient to protect our health and our environment from huge projects being built with little scrutiny.  Not any more.  I used to believe all the questions, interests and concerns folks raised at the Army Corps of Engineers scoping meeting in July 2008 would be addressed through a comprehensive environmental impact assessment triggered by the State Environmental Policy Act.  Aah, but then the rules were changed after that meeting.  Titan used wordsmithing and clever lobbying to get folks in Raleigh to agree with them that SEPA doesn't apply because those taxpayer dollars of mine and yours it'll be getting ($4.2 million) will be given only after it begins operations and meets some benchmarks.  Funny, I think a taxpayer dollar spends the same way after a project is built as before, it's still my dollar.  The fourth largest plant in the country--not some little "Ideal Cement II" could be built with only two separate, distinct, and limited permits for air quality and wetlands impact -- no comprehensive look at the effects of its use of water on the aquifer below those wetlands, the harm caused by deposition for miles around on the fisheries, to name just a few of the issues that will be ignored.  It is naive to think the laws are sufficient -- and we "country bumpkins" are being taken for fools and dolts.  You should be outraged by its audacity.   If it has nothing to hide, company officials should be proud to showcase their great technologies and their stewardship and not fear a full SEPA impact assessment so we will know, based on research done by independent state and federal officials, not scientists paid by Titan, what the full effects of its huge mining, burning, pumping, blasting, trucking and shipping operations for cement we don't need (cement plants are closing and laying off workers in Charleston!!)  will be.  Thank goodness Titan couldn't sway everyone in Raleigh from asking it to do the decent thing.

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Why are you so pro for Titan?  I know people from the west coast who talk about how plants like this have ruined their coastline. I don't want to see that here. I personally appreciate Julia Boseman for listening to those of us who live hear as she does and don't want polluting industry. Why can't we lobby for more movie industry business. It's much cleaner.  Your lack of concern troubles me and makes me wonder how colored your news coverage may be by your opinions.

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I just saw your presentation tonight on Julia's abuse of time and waste of taxpayer money that came to a head this past week in Raleigh.  I am right behind you,  GREAT PRESENTATION!

First these people get agitated about Titan/ Carolinas Cement and press for legislation that makes it hard to start and maintain a business, then what next....  laws against Corning, GE, Progress Energy or any other company that they think has deep pockets?? 

I went to a STOP TITAN/"Clean Water and Air " meeting in Hampstead 2 weeks ago, one of the presenters said " Titan is all about the Money. Last time I checked companies build plants to make money. 

I think that STOP TITAN leaders are in it for the money.  They want a check to pacify their noise.  One of their biggest supporters ( the Cape Fear River Watcher) was for Hugo Neu last year.  This was a business that is a whole lot less green than Carolinas Cement.  A good story may be to have him explain why he was for the recycled scrap project of Mr. Neu last year and against Carolinas Cement this year.  I'll bet that money entered into the plan somewhere...

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