This broadcast of CoastLine originally aired on February 28, 2013.
On this special edition of CoastLine, host Rachel Lewis Hilburn spoke with Coastal Scientist Tracy Skrabal of the NC Coastal Federation, Kate Queram, environmental Reporter for the StarNews, and Dr. Craig Galbraith, Professor at UNCW's Cameron School of Business. The topic: does a Titan Cement plant fit the landscape of the Cape Fear Region? Listen to find an exploration of the potential environmental and economic impacts of heavy industry in New Hanover County.
CoastLine is part of WHQR News' ongoing effort to promote civil discourse, foster appreciation for differing points of view, and deepen listeners’ understanding of community issues. Hosted by Rachel Lewis Hilburn, the show features in-studio guests and your questions!
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Statement to WHQR by Carolinas Cement Company:
MEDIA STATEMENT – 2/28/13
Carolinas Cement Company applauds WHQR-FM’s efforts to present a balanced approach to issues of importance to the Greater Wilmington community through its new CoastLine program. However, when presented with an opportunity to debate the issue of the proposed Carolinas Cement plant with Craig Galbraith, we declined because we felt that regardless of WHQR’s best efforts, a balanced perspective would not be provided.
For more than four years, Titan America has commissioned toxicology studies, worked with the Department of Air Quality to meet strict air emissions and consistently provided local media with the facts about the potential impacts of Carolinas Cement. Despite all of the data that undisputedly states that Carolinas Cement will operate well within all regulations to protect the environment and public health, opponents consistently turn a deaf ear to the facts of this project. For that reason, we cannot see that participating in a debate with Craig Galbraith, a long-time supporter of Stop Titan, would do anything to further educate the public and their understanding of this project, but would only provide a platform for Stop Titan and other anti-business groups to use fear, exaggeration and unscientific claims to mislead your listeners.
It is unfortunate that at a time when unemployment is still high in our tri-county area, there continues to be efforts to undermine companies’ ability to bring good paying jobs and capital investment into New Hanover County. The public should question whether Galbraith’s report was conducted in an unbiased, academically rigorous manner since it was not peer-reviewed and its author has a long history as an active and outspoken member of the Stop Titan Action Network.
Carolinas Cement will create 1,000 construction jobs for the plant’s two- to three-year build-out, 160 permanent plant jobs and 350 ancillary jobs to support plant operations. Carolinas Cement will be a good corporate neighbor, contribute $2 million annually to New Hanover County’s tax base and continue to be honored locally and nationally for our efforts to minimize emissions, promote a safe workplace, improve energy efficiency and conserve natural resources.
This plant will be the most efficient, environmentally safe cement plant in the world. Carolinas Cement is committed to ensuring that public health, the aquifers, the Cape Fear River and Island Creek will be protected throughout every step of this process.
--Bob Odom, General Manager for Carolinas Cement LLC