Some Martin County Residents Could Experience Respiratory Problems

A government investigation finds some people living near the Weyerhaeuser plant in Plymouth in Martin County could experience respiratory problems. The preliminary report finds sulfur dioxide levels close to the Plymouth facility can cause respiratory irritation and as a result pose a public health hazard. Federal officials recommend children, asthmatics, or people with respiratory discomfort avoid outdoor exertion when there is a sulfurous odor. Sulfur dioxide contributes to acid rain and may aggravate existing respiratory diseases. The North Carolina Division of Air Quality is questioning the report. More details are expected when the final report is released sometime next week. Two years ago, Weyerhaeuser paid close to a million dollars to upgrade pollution controls at a plant in Pennsylvania following similar allegations.