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Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Air Stinks of Mercury

I came across a petition to stop Titan Cement from building a plant in Castle Hayne near the Cape Fear River.
The question is... Why build a new coal fired cement plant that spews mercury into the atmosphere near Wilmington, along the Cape Fear River and sacrifice 1000 acres of wetlands?
The petition has over 200 signatures from scientists, doctors and other professionals warning of the environmental impact and toxicity of mercury. Mercury toxicity is proven to affect pregnancy and child development. The Cape Fear river is already listed as "impaired" due to mercury as this is the former site of Ideal Cement Company that previously closed down.

Seems like a no-brainer... Big DUH... NIMBY.... but this kinda stinks of government in bed with corporations and their lobbyists.. Ya think..

The petition @stoptitan.org tells a story of how Former NC Governor Mike Easley worked with some friends to bring in Titan, sacrifice 1000 acres of precious wetlands and secure his next job.

"Titan now has nine lobbyists in Raleigh. The top lobbyist is John Merritt, who was former Governor Mike Easley’s Chief of Staff (2002-2003). Mr. Merritt, along with four other Titan lobbyists, works for a massive Richmond-based law firm called McGuireWoods. It turns out, Mr. Merritt was lobbying for Titan when Gov. Easley approved a $300,000 grant to bring the company to NC. Recently McGuireWoods made another new hire: a former governor named Mike Easley. And now, as reported in the New York Times, Easley is being investigated by a Federal Grand Jury for allegedly taking private flights and other incentives from businesses while he was governor."

Some people will argue that Titan will bring some desperately needed jobs but that doesn't even make sense compared to the sacrifice of 1000 acres of wetlands or increasing the mercury you will breath. It's suggested that the Titan plant will bring about 160 jobs but about half will be filled by techs brought in from other locations.

Titan had released a statement thanking current Governor Bev Perdue and the NC Commerce Department for their support in efforts to defeat SB-699.
Maybe you would want to call Governor Perdue, the freakin' NC Senate Commerce Committee and ask them WTF?

My problem (other than the obvious mental ones) is that I can't wrap my head around why more isn't being done to PROTECT wetlands, forests and rivers. You would think people would be more aware of the damage that has already been done by exploiting our environment and our natural resources and that people would say 'Enough is Enough'!

Mercury in the air means mercury in your water and then in your fish and then in you and your family.
Do you really want more?

* more info links..
@writesvillebeachmagazine
@capefearriverwatchnews
@southernenvironmental.org
@islandgazette
@earthjustice
@BlueNC

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