Attorneys for the state of North Carolina, representatives from Carolinas Cement Co., a subsidiary of Titan America, and environmental groups challenging plans for a new plant plans met Monday in Wake County Superior Court for an early round in what could be a long legal fight over building the factory.
The NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the company, which wants to build the plant in New Hanover County, asked Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens to dismiss a lawsuit. That suit, brought by environmental groups over a state determination that a comprehensive environmental study isn’t needed before the company gets the green light to start construction.
The N.C. Department of Administration made the ruling on the environmental review.
The state Division of Air Quality is considering a permit that would allow the company to build a kiln. The environmental groups, represented by lawyers with the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Duke University environmental law clinic, say the comprehensive review is needed before DENR issues permits.
Eric M. Braun, a lawyer representing Carolinas Cement Co said the environmentalists were making their argument prematurely. Under the law, the groups need to wait until permits are issued, Braun said.
"This effort is simply a matter of delaying, impeding the process," he said.