Governor pressed to halt cement plant permit, US

Governor pressed to halt cement plant permit, US
Published: 26 January 2010

Environmental lawyers who want a full review of a proposed New Hanover County cement plant have asked Gov. Bev Perdue to put a hold on an air emissions permit the state is considering.

In a letter to Perdue, lawyers with the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic asked the governor to halt a permit that would allow Titan America to build a kiln. The lawyers want the process stopped until the conclusion of an inquiry by the State Bureau of Investigation.

Additionally, no permits should be issued until a court decides whether a comprehensive state environmental review is required, the letter said. State officials have said such a review is not required for Titan.

If an air permit is issued, the letter said, it should have stiffer pollution control requirements than are in the draft permit. The environmental lawyers maintain that the draft would violate federal law.

In its comments on the state’s draft permit last fall, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency questioned why limits on some pollutants were less stringent than proposed guidelines.

In response, Titan said it could not comply with limits that are not final.

Perdue rejected an earlier request to put a 90-day freeze on Titan’s permitting.