Titan America Cement Plant
A New Mercury Threat for the Cape Fear Basin
N. C. Shirked Responsibility by Permitting Avoidable Pollution
The state shirked its legal responsibility to protect people from avoidable harm by not requiring the proposed Titan America cement plant in New Hanover County to reduce its pollution to the maximum extent possible, according to documents filed today by the Southern Environmental Law Center in state court. Read more in the press release.
Titan America has proposed building the country’s fourth largest cement plant near Wilmington, North Carolina. Comprising a cement kiln and an expanded rock quarry, the plant would require the destruction of some 1,000 acres of wetlands and would be a major new source of mercury pollution in the Northeast Cape Fear River—a waterway already impaired by the dangerous neurotoxin. The facility would also emit significant quantities of other pollutants, including carbon monoxide, lead, benzene, and hydrochloric acid, as well as heat-trapping carbon dioxide.
SELC and its clients challenged the state air-quality permits for the plant that failed the state's legal responsibility to protect people from avoidable harm by not requiring the proposed Titan America cement plant in New Hanover County to reduce its pollution to the maximum extent possible. A recent scientific study shows the project will have a serious negative impact on the environment and people's health in area communities.
A Hazard for Human Health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eight percent of American women of childbearing age have mercury in their bodies at levels high enough to put their babies at risk of birth defects, loss of IQ, learning disabilities, and developmental problems. Toxic mercury accumulates in people and wildlife when they breathe contaminated air and eat contaminated fish.