Carolinas Cement Company announced plans to apply for a building permit to construct a cement packaging facility on the Castle Hayne site where the company intends to build one of the country’s largest cement production plants.
The $5 million facility will package cement already stored and handled in a terminal owned by Roanoke Cement Company. Both companies are subsidiaries of Titan America.
Carolinas Cement Company General Manager Bob Odom said the project would boost the local economy without serious environmental consequences.
“The bagging operation is a low-impact, environmentally friendly investment in New Hanover County. … This use of our existing property is a smart way to create jobs and move forward on this project,” Odom said in a June 6 press release.
The project will provide 10 temporary construction jobs and two permanent positions.
Because of a loophole in the county’s zoning ordinance, the project does not require a special use permit since it will continue existing industrial operations on the property. An air quality permit previously issued by the N.C. Division of Air Quality permits the facility’s proposed operations.
The Southern Environmental Law Center has contested three air quality permits awarded for the project on behalf of the N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Fear River Watch, Penderwatch & Conservancy and Sierra Club. Geoff Gisler, law center staff attorney, said the most recent permit challenge is awaiting a decision from the Office of Administrative Hearings but will likely be appealed to the Wake County Superior Court. Gisler said the three cases will be consolidated and considered by the court as soon as late summer.
Gisler questioned how the recent announcement fits into earlier statements made by the company.
“We know this is part of their overall plan for the entire plant. When we look at their previous comments about not building until they get all the permits, I think you have to look at whether or not this fits with some of those public promises they’ve made,” Gisler said during a June 9 phone interview, adding that there are still many different permits required for the larger plant.