PCS Phosphate Jumped One Permit Hurdle But Issues Are Still Ahead

By: Natalie Kaplan Email
By: Natalie Kaplan Email

The Army Corps of Engineers has granted PCS Phosphate a draft permit and Beaufort County officials say they expect a more final permit to be issued in two weeks. That's when things could get complicated because the Environmental Protection Agency has indicated they've got some concerns with PCS's permit, so much so, they might veto it which could mean more layoffs for the local company that's already had to make employee cuts. PCS needs that permit to continue mining.

Thursday Beaufort County Manager Paul Spruill spoke at Washington's Civic Center where more than 100 were gathered with a goal aimed at expanding Beaufort Counties economy.

Beaufort County Commissioner Robert Cayton told WITN he's frustrated with the EPA.

"You don't wait until the last minute to ask questions that could stop the process, bring your concerns to the table so they are looked at. You don't do anything to delay the process that would indicate you're not playing as fairly as you could because you're dealing with people's lives, their future, whether you can send your kids to college or not."

Local officials tell me, their goal now is to gather as much support for PCS as possible. A group just got back from Washington, DC. lobbying congressional leaders in support of PCS as well. Spruill says he'll make the trip back as often as needed, since losing the permit would have a devastating impact on our economy.

WITN did try and get in touch with the EPA to find out why they would issue a veto, however we did not receive a response back. In the past, environmentalists have claimed PCS's mining would destroy local wetlands and fisheries.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Meghan Location: VA on May 11, 2009 at 11:54 PM
    Beaufort Cty. water is great tasting and refreshing. My family has several wells, a bottling site and ship our product nationwide. People rave about it's pure taste. High five.
  • by Dale Location: Aurora, NC on May 11, 2009 at 11:27 PM
    Wetlands are of great inportance to the ecosystem. It is an important truth that many do not understand due to constraints in life. One's Job vs. natural settings is a difficult battle. But one can not forget their individual contribution to the next generation. Ever continuing expansion into sensitive areas will create echoing effects that will create challanges for the next. Though diffcult to detect and observe, effects from mining operations can remain in an area for life cycles of once flourishing flora and fauna. Let's do something for our next generation, and come up with other ways to create or invite jobs besides the expansion of a desolate landscape.
  • by anne Location: chocowinity on May 10, 2009 at 04:58 PM
    I want to keep my home,truck,pay my light bill,insurance on home and truck, buy food. The EPA does, so dont be stupid and take the only jobs left in this area and flush it down the toilet. Issue the permit to pcs and let us work. I have seen the job they do on reclaim lands, they look a great deal better than the swamp they were before. PCS employees arent the only ones that will lose their job a large number of construction workers will to. So EPA back off.
  • by Lisa Location: Washington on May 9, 2009 at 01:53 AM
    The power of money over preservation of life is unbelievable. Go to the Marion Cancer Center and ask cancer patients what good there money is doing for them at this point of their treatment. Also note that the center was built by PCS. How kind of them to give back to the community they are destroying. How about get an analysis (which is cheaper than a copay for a Dr visit) of your drinking water and see exactly what is being done to the water supply in Beaufort County??
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on May 8, 2009 at 05:54 AM
    Thanks Witn for seeking the truth as to why the EPA would dare even think about doing something so stupid. It just seems PCS over the years has been a good caretaker of the land yet EPA is caught up on theory and not facts. I personally think we should find out the names of EPA officials opposed to this and divulge it to the public. Let them know "who" is against it. I am sure it is some personal reason not based on objectivity.
  • by Kurt Location: Pinetown on May 7, 2009 at 06:11 PM
    EPA when is enough, enough. Keeping a watchful eye on companies and citing those who damage nature is a good thing. But don't you realize there has to be a balance. We have to live on this earth that other countries don't care half an ounce about as much as we do. Would it be enough for you that we run all businesses out of the USA, throw rocks and eat raw meat and live like cave men? Maybe you'll be satisfied when the US is crippled to the extent we can't compete with the world only to find our shores enviromentally perfect for some other country to take it for it's spoil and ultimantly losing the freedoom you've used to bully instead of protect.
  • by Anonymous on May 7, 2009 at 04:14 PM
    These EPA people need to get a life. Don't they care about how many people they are trying to hurt? Silly me, they have jobs, what do they care if a 1000 or so more loose theirs because of them.

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