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Will ISP Minerals be a good neighbor?

By Susan Bush
Posted Thursday, April 27, 2006

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Siler City, NC - I did a quick Google and found lots of stuff on ISP Minerals, the outfit who wants a quarry and manufacturing operation in Mt. Vernon Springs, next to Horizon Cellars in the Siler City ETJ and needs rezoning in order to do it. The rezoning hearing is scheduled for May 1st.

They will say what they want to get a plant in, but a preliminary way to find out if they are walking their talk is to research their already existing facilities. If you go to their website you can see pix and locations of existing facilities and discussion about their environmental standards.

These people are a huge international corporation. They are not stupid. They operate worldwide and produce a variety of products in a variety of different countries with differing environmental standards, ie. chemical plant in Germany. Here is their website, which shows minerals as a relatively new development in their manufacturing portfolio:

Remember, a company will spend only the minimum to meet environmental standards- and NC has a well deserved reputation for being slobs. ISP will act as if they don't know about stormwater controls, for example, because if we don't mention it, they won't put them in, thereby saving them money. It's in their best interest!

This is how it's done here, folks! The burden is entirely on us! From my years of experience in Mecklenburg, Union & most recently Chatham counties, our ignorance is counted upon, as well as slaps on the wrist (if anything) if there are environmental violations. Our ignorance, lack of oversight, and lack of enforcement are simply part of the landscape in which all developers operate.

It is up to us to insist that ISP do what is right and tell the truth. Here are some of their other facilities:

If I were a nearby neighbor I'd negotiate a buyout if this can't be stopped since the powers that be are so much in favor of it. It is obvious to anyone that nearby property values will decreaseas a result. Duh! It's common sense and common knowledge. I can only hope that I won't be impacted in my quiet little environmentally friendly development and my healthy chemical free green home that I invested far too much money in, four miles away. (Yeah, right.)

Here's a fatal mine accident report from ISP's PA mine, which would be I believe most similar to what they are proposing here:

Not very many jobs, dangerous, noisy, devastating to the environment and community for years to come. Hm...

Seriously, do we really want these folks here? Aren't we already on track to have a better type of development here? I really think there are other sites more in need of this type of development than west Chatham.

Those links above took me all of five minutes to find on Google, and are by no means a complete picture- but from what I understand, their presentation to the community , which I did not attend, was short on information that really mattered - which was no accident, I can assure you.

Folks, they assume we're ignorant, and will believe anything they say, and they will tell us what we want to hear. It benefits them to be on the "fast track" with Siler City so that nobody will catch on til it's too late. If we're looking for testimony on impact, it will take time to gather that data from people who live in the area of the existing mines. It would be unreasonable to expect us to be prepared at such short notice.

No, agritourism and this type of development will not coexist. Duh.

I won't believe it until the company brings their testimony from happy neighbors and employees from their other plants. They are the ones who need to have the burden of proof on them, and shame on Siler City officials for not insisting upon it.

We can do better!!!!

I pretty freaked out right now. We moved and built here, sinking in our life savings and then some to recover my health!

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