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Fri August 30, 2013
DAQ Approves Revised Air Quality Permit for Titan Cement
Titan Cement is one step closer to building and operating a plant in New Hanover County.
On Thursday, North Carolina's Division of Air Quality approved modifications to the company’s air permit. The newly-issued permit gives the cement manufacturer some breathing room on the timing of construction and the volume of pollutants the facility can emit each year.
Titan America now has more time – eighteen months – to start construction on its new cement plant. The revised permit also changes the limits on particulate emissions.
The new plant will now be allowed to put out an additional 22 tons of fine particulate matter and 10 more tons of coarse particulate matter. DAQ officials say the adjustment won’t actually affect Titan’s emission controls. That’s because the EPA changed the averaging time for calculating emissions – which results in a higher limit. Titan’s Bob Odom also says the higher number does not equate to more pollution. Odom compares the numbers to temperature measurement: for example, zero Celsius equals 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
The new permit comes after a heavily-attended public meeting August 5th. At that meeting in UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium, the overwhelming majority of speakers came out against the permit and the cement plant.
Local Sierra Club spokesman Zachary Keith says it’s disappointing that the state chose to ignore the wishes of the people who will have to live with the pollution.
There is an active lawsuit, filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center, challenging the legality of Titan’s initial air permit issued in February of 2012.