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Boseman says committee members cave to Titan lobbyists

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An effort to slow down Titan America’s plans for a cement plant in Castle Hayne may be on hold itself.

Tuesday, Senator Julia Boseman withdrew her bill calling for a moratorium on cement plants in the state until next fall. Instead she wants a federal review before the state issues permits for any industry.

A Senate committee was supposed to discuss for a second time Tuesday a bill to stop cement plants until September 2010.

After a delay, sponsor Julia Boseman replaced her bill with a new version, calling for state agencies to wait for a federal environmental impact statement before deciding on any new industries in North Carolina.

“We thought that would be a more inclusive approach, not just targeting one business, but doing what’s best for all businesses,” Boseman said.

But before debate could begin, Boseman realized she did not have support from the Agriculture Committee, and Chair Bob Atwater ended the meeting. Atwater said later there was concern over how the bill would impact other economic development projects across the state in the future.

Boseman said committee members caved to Titan’s lobbyists. “I’m very disappointed in the Senators on the committee to do what a lobbyist says is best. This is my district.”

It’s also Sandra Spaulding Hughes’s district. She sponsored a bill in the House that is the same as Boseman’s original moratorium plan, but Hughes said the House version has been, in her words, ‘on the shelf’.

There’s a chance it could move through the House and onto the Senate on its own, but the legislature faces a Thursday deadline to approve bills and move them into the other chamber, thus hurting the chances of a moratorium passing.

“Right now, with crossover within two days, I doubt it, because of the fact it has to go through committee, and there’s a possibility that it will not,” said Sandra Spaulding Hughes.

Still, some lawmakers think there is a chance it could pass through last-minute committee hearings and procedural maneuvering on the floor of the house or senate.

Before the committee hearing, a Titan representative said the company is playing by the rules already in place and plans to meet any and all environmental standards no matter how tough.

He would not comment afterwards about what happened in the meeting.

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Story summary

videoAn effort to slow down Titan America’s plans for a cement plant in Castle Hayne may be on hold itself.

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Associated poll

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