It became even more personal to me when Titan Cement sued me two months ago for comments I made at an open County Commissioners meeting.
Although we live in a beautiful coastal town (recently awarded with a "Top Ten Places on the Coast" award), our secrets are many. We have several chemical plants in the area, a coal-fired energy plant and a river contaminated with mercury.
And yet, our worst fears are yet to be realized.
For three years we have been fighting Titan Cement, a billion-dollar foreign cement company that is trying to build on the banks of the Cape Fear River what would be the fourth largest cement plant in the nation. It would cover 1000 acres of irreplaceable wetlands and sit atop the aquifer that supplies our main source of drinking water. Within 5 miles of where 8,500 children attend school, this plant would emit more than 140 toxic chemicals and pollutants into our already overburdened air.
This issue first came to my attention because the proposed site is only a few miles from my home and I worry about our exposure to toxic pollution. And it became even more personal to me when Titan Cement sued me two months ago for comments I made at an open County Commissioners meeting. I am now in the unfathomable position of having to defend myself in court for expressing my grievances to my elected officials.
What Titan Cement did not realize is that their bullying tactics have not intimidated our community or silenced its citizens. It has only made us stronger, made our voices louder and made us more resolute in our efforts to protect our right to breathe clean, healthy air, drink safe water and live healthy and productive lives free from the shadow of their smokestack and its toxic plume.