Titan Cement's new ploy to avoid SEPA: refuse incentives

It's not the delay they're worried about:

On Thursday, company officials confirmed they were declining the incentives to climb out from beneath a court order and prevent a two-year delay.

“We wanted to move this project ahead,” said Bob Odom, general manager for Titan’s local subsidiary Carolinas Cement Co. “Time is money, obviously. That was a delay that was unacceptable to us.”

The SEPA evaluation could have been completed by now if you hadn't delayed and obstructed the process with legal maneuvering and efforts to subvert state government officials. You own this timetable, pal.

For opponents, Thursday’s announcement was another example of Titan trying to wiggle its way out from a full environmental review.

“This is just a continuation of broken promises,” said Mike Giles, a coastal advocate with the N.C. Coastal Federation. “This shows Titan for who they really are. They said they would be the most environmentally friendly plant and follow all the rules, and they are trying to get around the rules.”

This is beginning to resemble really bad street theater, where everybody watching can see the villain holding a knife behind his back, waiting for the innocent victim to stroll within range. Frankly, it's embarassing. This company has done everything in its power to avoid an environmenmtal review, and nobody in our government has asked the glaringly obvious question: "Why?"


Maybe New Hanover County or Wilmington

can still affect this monstrosity by putting into place a local "user fee" for cleaning up the environmental pollution Titan will create. The GA won't let them add any other kind of tax, but this one is well within the purview of local government action.

It's the same as fees for garbage collection, water and sewer, etc. Simply charge Titan $1,000,000 for every pound of mercury they discharge into the air and water in the county, mercury that will have to be cleaned up or mitigated by neighbors and ordinary citizens.

Gotta love those free markets!

Not a bad idea

Unfortunately, SEPA is the best vehicle for local (and state) governnment to be informed about specific negative impacts. So, without that information, local governments are less likely to see the need to take steps, etc.