Judge Stephens gets it right re Titan Cement

From a Char-O editorial:

"The Legislature could not have intended for companies to build a project, receive previously committed public grant money, and only then conduct the SEPA review of the project's potential environmental impact and proposed alternatives. An environmental review prepared after a project has been completed and begun operation would fail to meet the Act's stated purpose of informing the State's decision."

Exactly. The next question is: Why does it take a judge to explain something to our state officials that's already so glaringly obvious?

Comments

Just as a footnote,

and also a reminder for you readers to never forget how adept and jam-packed with wisdom I am (modest, too), here's what I said almost six months ago:

Get that? PROPOSED project. See, part of the goal of the review (and the statute) is to AVOID spending taxpayer dollars on environmental nightmares like Titan Cement. Do you think the legislature originally intended for the money to be spent first? If you do, you're an idiot.

The judge said it nicer than I did, but he probably wanted to call someone an idiot.

Because

Exactly. The next question is: Why does it take a judge to explain something to our state officials that's already so glaringly obvious?

Economic development is like high stakes gambling, and equally addictive. These guys have gone "junkie."

Regarding your question...

Why does it take a judge to explain something to our state officials that's already so glaringly obvious?

Because many of them don't want to see the truth. Our local newspaper ran a story last week about New Hanover County officials being concerned about mercury found in the gym floor of a local middle school. It's possible, you see, that mercury fumes could be released from the flooring. The gym floor was done back in the 80's and the polyurethane coating probably contained (based on my research) about 1 gram of mercury per Kilogram of polyurethane. I estimated that if the gym floor required 1000 gallons of polyurethane (doubtful) the total amount of mercury would have been less than 10 lbs.

These New Hanover County officials are the same ones using our tax monies to persuade Titan to come here and dump about 230 lbs of mercury per year, every year, into our air and environment. And they're concerned about kids playing on a gym floor installed 22 years ago? I'm stunned!

It's obvious that mercury created by a tax revenue producing business (that will also bring a few jobs) is far less poisonous than gym floor mercury. That must be it. Surely our County Commissioners wouldn't poison us for a few bucks...er...would they?

Stan Bozarth

I wonder when the finger pointing will start

This deal is going down and the officials behind is are going to look like the poor public stewards that they are. Will the county boosters blame the state economic developer boosters?

More to the point, will the person who brought this deal to the table on behalf of North Carolina citizens be fired?

It's such a spectacular display of poor judgment.

J

PS My best to your lovely bride!

Titan ruling

The key issue in this case is the state's manipulation of the "incentives" game. The state is trying to game the system by claiming that the prospective payment of incentives to Titan doesn't count as an expenditure of state money. Judge Stephens got it right but state officials keep playing games. Hold them accountable.

Speaking of environmental impact

President Obama is a liar.

I wonder which court this case will end up in.

If the oil that is still spewing (!!!) from the gulf reaches NC's shores I guess we can at least hope Judge Stephens gets first crack at the case.