The anatomy of a deregulatory nightmare:
For Castle Hayne air advocates, the most worrisome proposals from the Legislature came this year. State legislators proposed to eliminate all air monitors that are not specifically required by federal environmental regulators and to limit citizens' ability to challenge air permits in court, taking away two important tools used by citizens to challenge projects they deem risky to public health. The changes were never enacted.
The air monitor provision would have eliminated an air monitor that lies across the road from the proposed cement plant and next to an experimental field for different varieties of blueberries. The monitor is 11 miles from downtown Wilmington and measures concentrations of ozone, particulate matter and other pollutants. The other provision would have hampered advocates' ability to challenge the cement plant permit's allowances of toxic air pollutants.
The battle over the Titan Cement plant is not about a handful of overzealous advocates trying to hold back industrial growth. The coal-burning monstrosity will increase the entire state's atmospheric mercury emissions by almost 10%, and it will be located in an area that is already saturated by industrial air and water pollutants. Read the entire article, it's a good one.