PCS "Re-Evaluating" Sulfur Pellet Storage At State Port

By: April Davis
By: April Davis

PCS Phosphate says it is re-evaluating its entire sulfur project at the Morehead City State Port, including whether to store sulfur pellets.

Wednesday, Governor Beverly Perdue announced PCS had abandoned its plans to build a controversial sulfur melting plant at the port. But an Associated Press story said PCS was still going ahead with plans for sulfur pellet storage facilities at the port with bins 150 feet high. That angered many opponents who felt the governor wasn't giving them the full story.

Thursday in Havelock Perdue told reporters she was surprised to hear there has been discussions of the pellets. She says as far as she knows there is no proposal for pellets at this point in time.

In an email to WITN News, PCS says they are now re-evaluating all of their options, including the location of the storage pellet facility. Public relations manager Michelle Vaught says they anticipate any storage facility that is eventually built would be far less than 150 feet high.

As for the Associated Press story yesterday, the AP tells WITN that the details in that report were provided by a member of the governor's communications staff. WITN obtained that email which included several talking points about the pellets: "PCS also has a plan to bring dry sulfur pellets and store them at the port." and "If that plan ultimately goes forward, PCS has already agreed to rework their plans to make sure that no sulfur storage building will exceed 150 feet in height."

Meanwhile, the Clean County Coalition has apologized to the governor. "I sincerely apologize to the Governor for calling her a liar," said coalition president John Nelson. Nelson said he received a phone call today from Perdue's senior adviser who reassured him there were no plans to build a sulfur pellet storage facility at the port.


Previous Story

There was a sense of relief by many Wednesday after the announcement by Governor Beverly Perdue that PCS Phosphate would not be building a sulfur plant along the coast, but that excitement is quickly fading

Perdue said at a press conference in Morehead City Wednesday- after speaking with PCS Phosphate, it voluntarily decided not to continue with the plans of building a sulfur melting plant in Morehead City.

The decision comes after much opposition to the plant.

Governor Perdue stated to the residents of Carteret County that she reviewed their concerns over the past week and was happy to bring good news to the community. After the press conference the community learned disappointing news there is still a chance PCS Phosphate will be their neighbor by building a sulfur pellet storage facility.

Vice President of the Clean County Coalition Leigh Johnson told WITN the group feels betrayed the governor would talk about transparency at Wednesday's press conference, but yet was not transparent with the community about how PCS had other plans.

Perdue says residents will have opportunities to comment on the proposed warehouse during the permitting process. However, the coalition told WITN Wednesday they are now retaining an attorney to fight the proposed PCS warehouse.

Morehead City residents complained the state and PCS Phosphate kept the sulfur melting plant proposal under wraps, unfairly blocking citizens from offering feedback. The governor said that was not the case.



Previous Story:
State officials say PCS Phosphate has voluntarily agreed to abandon plans to build a controversial sulfur melting plant on the coast.

Governor Beverly Perdue made the announcement this afternoon at the North Carolina State Port at Morehead City, the site of the proposed plant.

Joining the governor were the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources and the CEO of the State Ports Authority.

The announcement was met with a round of applause from dozens of people who attended the announcement.

Although PCS Phosphate is abandoning plans for the smelting plant, the company hopes to build a storage facility for dry sulfur pellets at the site. Perdue said the proposed warehouse would be limited to 150 feet in height -- the same size as smokestacks included the original proposal.

Perdue says residents will have opportunities to comment on the proposed warehouse during the permitting process.

At first it was hard to tell which direction the governor would go with the announcement. Perdue got boos when she said the public was properly notified about the plant. She said there was a paper trail, and told the crowd "you need to pay attention."

PCS Phosphate wanted to build the sulfur plant at the port, but a group of Carteret County residents strongly oppose the plan.

Perdue said there is a balance of tourism and good business.

The governor said she asked the groups involved to take a "time out" in the conversation with PCS Phosphate.

Perdue said her investigation into the plant and its impact was completed. She then said PCS Phosphate has voluntarily agreed to abandon its pursuit of the sulfur plant at the port. The crowd erupted in cheers.

PCS spokeswoman Michelle Vaught said the plant design met all state regulations and said company officials had been meeting for more than a year with state and local leaders who have discussed economic incentives for the project.

The $95 million plant would melt solid sulfur after it reaches the port. PCS Phosphate says this plant would add 18 jobs to the port where PCS already employees 13 people, and they are required by state law to release no objectionable odors beyond the facility boundary. Homeowners say the smell is a big worry for them.


Previous Story

Hundreds of people showed up at a meeting Tuesday night trying to gather last minute ideas to keep a sulfur melting plant out of their city along the coast.

More than 400 people attended the Clean County Coalition meeting at the Crystal Coast Civic Center. Representatives from PCS Phosphate, the company that wants to build the plant, were not among them.

The coalition is trying to stop PCS from building a sulfur melting plant at a port on Radio City Island. PCS spokeswoman Michelle Vaught said the plant design meets all state regulations and said company officials have been meeting for more than a year with state and local leaders who have discussed economic incentives for the project.The $95 million plant will melt solid sulfur after it reaches the port. PCS Phospate says this plant will add 18 jobs to the port where PCS already employees 13 people, and they are required by state law to release no objectionable odors beyond the facility boundary. Homeowners say the smell is a big worry for them.

"We have seen from the Pender county storms- the fires and everything there and those down east the way the smoke has drifted in on us. Boy, wouldn't rotten eggs be even worse?" commented concerned resident Llewellyan Ramsey.

The mayor of Morehead City has said because the site is on a state port, PCS was not obligated to contact the city for any building permits.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by DIxie Chic Location: MHC on Sep 16, 2011 at 08:31 PM
    Well, If you knew a little bit about MHC, you would know most the all the money coming into our town is from tourists. Idk, if you've ever been anywhere, like Yellowstone. But Sulfur is a very vile and nasty smell. You know what I mean when you are standing next to a gyser at Yellowstone and the smell, sickness you. DO you really think for one minute, that people are going to want to stay at our hotels or go to our waterfront and dine in our restaurants, or even go to pour beach, when they are sick to their stomachs because the air they are breathing is so freakn nasty??? DO you really think that a wonderful idea?? Our Port is doing what its suppose to do, loading and unloading freights n cargo. That is what our port if for. Let them move right into the downtown of your city, threatening these vile fumes and we'll see exactly how much you a lovn it!!!! Especially when your town will be affected financially because tourists wont want to come to our beaches. This is a no brainer. anyway you look at it. They belong in the country somewhere, stay away from here, we dont want it!!!!!
  • by Puh-Leez on Jul 29, 2011 at 05:07 AM
    @Yankee Transplant-Growth, yes, not invasion. Your attitude is the perfect example of our opinion of most transplants. You should have left that uptight "better than thou" crap attitude up north. Deal with THAT.
  • by ENC Resident, not a Yankee on Jul 28, 2011 at 01:49 PM
    Well, now MHC and Carteret County has successfully sent big money and jobs elsewhere. what a bunch of ill informed, non progressives. They don't want Yankees here, they only want summer touriests, so they can sit on their duffs and complain there is not tourism in the winter, they don't want any progress, they don't like big business, and the LIKE to complain about everything. Your lives are surely miserable and so negative. Get a life
  • by YankeeTransplant Location: Greenville on Jul 28, 2011 at 11:16 AM
    For the southerners that have a problem with northerners, sorry to tell you guys, but you're the minority in this state. Most of the population here now is from another state. You guys wanted growth, so its what you got. Either deal with it or leave.
  • by Ryan Location: Havelock on Jul 28, 2011 at 09:34 AM
    Hope this note gets through the liberal news editor; Really, that is not the case Governor? What exactly is the case then when the item is coming up for vote and people who live with in 1 mile of the proposed site have never heard a single word on it? Could it not be the case because a small blurb in an obscure publication is what they used for "Public Notice"? Keep up your tricks, and enjoy your next run for Governor while you waste the DNC contributions.
  • by Anonymous Location: Pantego on Jul 28, 2011 at 08:00 AM
    I second that.
  • by john Location: obx on Jul 28, 2011 at 07:59 AM
    gov. perdue is a bald face liar! i hope she doesnt waste to much of her money tring to win another election.. but she is in the back pocket of PCS. just do us all a favor and leave office, carry that obama guy with you!
  • by answer Location: NC on Jul 28, 2011 at 07:45 AM
    Move the port.You can't,you will be b ing about that too.
  • by ccc on Jul 28, 2011 at 07:10 AM
    Gov. Perdue is a liar - she told us that PCS would go away and now they want to build a noxious, explosive sulfur warehouse. When will the lies and deception end??
    • reply
      by Mike on Jul 28, 2011 at 08:05 AM in reply to ccc
      Join the rest of state rersidents that fall into this catagory. Remember her campain? I was teacher for 20 yrs and education will be number 1 concern,etc.etc.. See if you can find a teacher or any state employee for that matter that will have any thing positive to say about our govener. Nov 2012 cant come sooner.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 28, 2011 at 08:11 AM in reply to ccc
      When she is ut of office as well as those idiots in the legislature that are holding us back further.
  • by Puh-Leez on Jul 28, 2011 at 06:54 AM
    The North is a direction, the South is a place.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 28, 2011 at 08:08 AM in reply to Puh-Leez
      Then politely shut up and go back north.
WITN

275 E. Arlington Blvd. Greenville, NC 27858 252-439-7777
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 125863544 - witn.com/a?a=125863544
Gray Television, Inc.