NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A revised air quality permit for the proposed, controversial Titan Cement Plant in Castle Hayne gives Titan America/Carolinas Cement Co. an additional 18 months to begin construction, and it also changes the amount of emissions the plant can release.
Previously, the Division of Air Quality issued an air permit for the plant in Feb. 2012 that was scheduled to expire at the end of this month if Titan hadn't started construction on the plant, according to a news release from an N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources spokesperson.
Opposition to the local project has apparently kept the construction from starting. In a letter to the Division of Air Quality at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, company officials say that in the two months after February 29, 2012, when the DAQ issued the permit for the project, "the terms and conditions of the permit, the designation of air control equipment, and the very issuance of the permit have been the subject of on-going litigation".
The new permit revisions issued Thursday approved Titan's request to extend construction authorization.
Additionally, the permit changes the way the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will measure emissions from the plant, meaning that Titan now has a higher limit for annual emissions.
The new permits state that Titan's new emissions limits are increased by 22 tons/year for fine particles (PM 2.5), and by 10 tons/year for coarse particles (PM 10).
The Division of Air Quality held a public hearing at UNC Wilmington earlier this month, and accepted written comments until Aug. 9.
The cement company, which is a subsidiary of Titan America, has been working on the project since at least 2008.
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