Hearing to be held on revised air quality permit for proposed Titan cement plant

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The N.C. Division of Air Quality has scheduled a public hearing Aug. 5 to receive comments on a revised air quality permit for the Titan America cement plant proposed in Castle Hayne.

The hearing will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Kenan Auditorium at UNCW, 601 S. College Road.

Speakers will be able to comment on draft revisions to the permit, which would allow Titan to increase the proposed plant’s annual emissions of fine particles by 22 tons per year and coarse particles by 10 tons per year.

According to a notice of the hearing released today, the division issued the permit in February 2012 after conducting three public hearings and reviewing “thousands of public comments during the previous two years.”

“Titan has submitted an application to extend authorization to construct for an additional 18 months because the company is not ready to start building the facility,” the notice states, adding that the company’s application also “seeks to review the permit’s limits for particulate emissions to make them consistent with recent changes in federal regulations dealing with cement plants.”

Through its local subsidiary, Carolinas Cement Co., Titan America is seeking to establish a cement manufacturing plant at 6411 Ideal Cement Road in Castle Hayne, just north of Wilmington. The company has applied to modify the permit, and the division has prepared a revised draft permit that “sets limits for all applicable air quality standards for the proposed facility.”

The hearing announcement notes that speakers will be asked to limit their comments to three minutes or less. “The hearing officer will have the discretion to further limit speaking times, if necessary, to accommodate the number of speakers and time constraints.”

Written comments will also be accepted no later than Aug. 9. Comments can be emailed to hearing officer Steve Hall at steve.hall@ncdenr.gov or mailed to: Steve Hall, N.C. Division of Air Quality, DENR Raleigh Regional Office, 3800 Barrett Drive, suite 101, Raleigh, NC, 27609.

The draft permit can be viewed here. More information about the proposed plant can be found on this page of the division’s website. Information on air quality issues can be also be found on the division’s website: www.ncair.org.

The hearing comes just months after supporters of “Stop Titan,” a collective of groups opposing the project, marked five years since the plant was first proposed to New Hanover County commissioners.

Related story: ‘Stop Titan’ supporters address county board, mark five years fighting proposed cement plant