Beaufort County Commissioner Seeks Public Support For PCS Phosphate

By: Natalie Kaplan Email
By: Natalie Kaplan Email

In less then two weeks the Environmental Protection Agency will either decide to approve or reject a permit extension for PCS Phosphate to continue mining in Beaufort County.

Now local officials are urging the public to get involved and help stop this eight year process from taking any longer.

May 6th is when the EPA is supposed to make their decision, one that could greatly impact the local economy, since PCS Phosphate is Beaufort County's largest employers and has already had to start laying employees off because of permit delays.

That's why Beaufort County Commissioner Albert Klemm is trying to jump start a grassroots effort to help PCS out and get the community involved. He's urging residents to head to WWW.PCSVOTES.COM that's where you can send a letter to your representative in support of PCS’s mining permit. Klemm says if PCS doesn't get the permit it needs, the community is going to take a major economic hit.

"In Beaufort County, PCS Phosphate is almost 20% of our tax base, you can imagine what it would do to our tax revenue. PCS also employees approximately 1,050 employees and up to 500 contractors in Beaufort County, Pitt County, Craven County, and Pamlico County."

Klemm says in the past 29 years the EPA has approved thousands of permits and only denied 12 and they've never rejected a mining permit but he says with administration changes and the power of environmentalists he fears things could be different this time around.

If you recall the main problems environmentalists have had with PCS is their effect on wetlands and fish nurseries in our area.

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  • by 1Skeptic Location: Aurora on Apr 27, 2009 at 11:51 AM
    Again I will say this, People would find it hard to believe the construction activity that is going on at PCS right now. Maybe a lay-off or two on the production side just so PCS will have something to tell the news people, but there is a lot going on there now with new construction and upgrades. The funny thing is that the majority are traveling construction workers not from here, working for contractors not from here. When they leave, except for what they spend while they are here, their money leaves with them. PCS HYPE!!!
  • by Mike on Apr 26, 2009 at 06:25 PM
    Shut em down.I know the econemy will take a hit,but id rather lose my wallet than my life.These commercials there running are just creepy.Fish Kills,Nasty,Nasty water,go figure.
  • by Shelley Location: SC on Apr 26, 2009 at 08:37 AM
    In our current economic crisis, jobs need to be saved at all costs. EPA needs to keep the mining company functioning.
  • by 1Skeptic Location: Aurora on Apr 24, 2009 at 08:31 AM
    I live in Aurora and work in Greenville. Driving to work @ 6.00am every morning all I see is a continuous line of vehicles heading east to PCS. With all of the construction going on there now it is hard for me to believe that anyone there is too worried. Business does not spend the money that PCS is spending now on new projects and upgrades without knowing something. All of this hype is nothing but that, HYPE!
  • by InquiringMind Location: GV on Apr 23, 2009 at 07:08 PM
    Blisters? Poop and sulfur smell? Sounds like a personal hygiene issue.
  • by DJ Location: ENC on Apr 23, 2009 at 05:26 PM
    I'm with Fisherman Frank. We need sustainable industry. Not only is PCS Phosphate's operation here not sustainable, but the industry it supports isn't sustainable. We can pay now, or we can pay later. It is a slippery slope we are on, and we're playing with our food and water supply.
  • by Fisherman Frank Location: Washington NC on Apr 23, 2009 at 05:21 PM
    Umm... Dave? "Large international conglomerates offshore" cause fish kills, blisters on my arms, the smell of poop and sulphur along the river and sound? Idon't think so.
  • by Denise Location: Washington, NC on Apr 23, 2009 at 04:50 PM
    Someone needs to get the number of colon and anal cancer cases in Beaufort County and address of victims in relation to water supply. Ironic that PCS Phosphate build the cancer center. I have been advised by health care proviiders to get a cancer policy if living in Beaufort County. Scary???? A 3 mile fish kill last year was certainly suspicious. Oxygen levels don't drop in relation to the heat index at the time of kill unless related to toxins in water. Money for local jobs but if you never live to spend it why bother??!?!?
  • by Dave Location: Wilson on Apr 23, 2009 at 04:35 PM
    So you think dirt poor farmers was doing "fine". The fishing industry was not killed by PCS. It has been damaged by over fishing by large international conglomerates offshore. November 2010 folks. That is your time to remove these people who are putting you out of work.
  • by Fisherman Frank Location: Washington, NC on Apr 23, 2009 at 03:28 PM
    PCS and the massive farm factories (not Ma and Pa farmer, but Tyson Foods, Perdue, and Smithfield Foods) have cost our area MANY more jobs than they've created. They killed our fishing industry since they're the main contributors to the fish kills we see regularly. This latest attempt to convince us how our area will die without them is nothing more than propaganda. Notice how the "grassroots" effort to persuade Washington in their favor uses green colors and the stars and stripes? Our area did fine before PCS moved into the area, and after a massive cleanup when they move out, we'll be fine without them. Besides, those jobs will be long gone (and the business will be all the richer) once the phosphate their business prays upon is completely removed from OUR land and riverbed. Bring back the fishing industry! Bring back our clean water! Don't support a trillion dollar Canadian fertilizer company over the safety of the land and water our children and grandchildren live on.

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