Castle Hayne|N. C. State regulators recognize importance of cement manufacturing
By Sam Stark (a parody based on a recent Wilmington StarNews story) (link)
Job growth and economic development will benefit southeastern North Carolina and local governments’ will rake in hundreds of millions in new tax revenue when the Carolinas Cement Company rebuilds an abandoned plant at a remote mining site north of Wilmington, according to company officials. General Manager Bob Odom recently announced that Carolinas Cement “will operate the cleanest, most advanced cement plant in the world.”
Company people have repeatedly assured area citizens that they will build a state-of-the-art facility. They have informed people of all aspects of the mining and plant operations. CCC officials were surprised by negative claims about cement production and public health raised by environmental activists. A company engineer said, “That’s irresponsible; why would they say things like that? Our awards and testimony from residents near our plants show that we meet high industrial and regulatory standards for safety and cleanliness.”
Radical groups attempt to discredit the company and stall its plans despite the fact that its people vow to adhere to all federal and state regulations. Activists have for years tried various subversive tactics to prevent the company from operating.
The Southern Environmental Law Center litigating against decisions by the N. C. Division of Air Quality represents a network of radical regional and national environmental groups opposed to economic development. They especially attack mining and manufacturing; vital to American prosperity and quality of life, according to company proponents.
Although activists regularly organize demonstrations to incite hostile public opinion (predicting ill-health and even death), no proof of any harm from cement plant operations has been presented. Still, they persist in spreading false information. The SELC has filed a lawsuit challenging State regulators on their recent decision to reissue an air quality permit to the company. The permit recognizes that the CCC will comply with all state and recent changes in federal air quality regulations.
Opponents of CCC reacted with anger. A SELC lawyer said, “They’ll emit a harmful pollutant, and they can control it.” A company spokesman said, “Carolinas Cement has been, is and will be committed to building a safe, clean plant. We will follow all state and federal regulations as required. No one has anything to fear from our operations and there will be great benefits gained by it throughout the region.”