In the early 1980s Texas Gulf, the owner of the fertilizer facility at the Port wanted to construct a large liquid ammonia storage facility on Radio Island. They planned to ship the ammonia to Aurora by barge to make diammonium phosphate, a common form of fertilizer. Crossroads and many citizens considered the facility too dangerous and opposed it. In the end, after a public hearing that filled the Civic Center, the County Commissioners denied a variance that would have permitted the ammonia storage to be built. A memorable moment came when the elder Claude Wheatley described the "flaming spear" ejected from a ship burning at the port and wondered what would have happened if that flaming projectile had landed on a liquid ammonia storage tank. In fact, the proposal was defeated twice, by both Republican and Democratic Boards.
Carteret County’s Comprehensive Plan
The Steering Committee for the Countywide Comprehensive Plan was appointed by the County Commission in July 1999 and consists of representatives from each municipality and a diverse range of local interests. In an effort to gain professional assistance, a Request for Proposals was mailed out to 38 planning firms nationwide. The Chesapeake Group was short-listed then recommended by the Committee to assist Carteret County in the development of the Plan.
Establishing a course of action in a countywide planning process initially required the review of existing plans, ordinances, policies and community infrastructure as well as the evaluation of their effectiveness. The planning consultant has met monthly with the Steering Committee and with approximately 40 public stakeholders to date. The Steering Committee held its first public forum on November 18 in which community members identified issues and goals with regard to such planning elements as transportation, education, environment, economic development, health, geographical issues, community facilities and historical, cultural and natural resources.
The next step includes the formulation of goals, objectives and implementation strategies surrounding each of these planning elements. The Chesapeake Group has compiled a report containing information gathered at the forum and is also currently preparing an information database of pertinent community statistics. The methods being used to gather information for this database include telephone surveys, a county comparative assessment and business surveys. These informational tools, along with on-going community input, will be needed to formulate achievable goals for each of the planning elements listed above.
The Comprehensive Planning Committee and Stakeholders are dedicated to ensuring public awareness of this project and would like to encourage community participation in the planning process. The Committee plans further public participation opportunities in the new year with an aim to provide these sessions at times and locations convenient for residents countywide. If you have any questions regarding the planning process, please contact either Adrienne Cole or Vicki Williams at 726-7822.
By Adrienne Cole, Dir. EDC
The Coast Alliance has published a book entitled Mission Possible; State Progress Controlling Runoff under the Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Plan. The book details the progress made in controlling nonpoint source pollution by the states. Detailed analyses are made for Wisconsin, Louisiana, Maine, California and New Jersey with briefer summaries for other coastal states, including North Carolina.
The Coastal Nonpoint Program is an EPA and NOAA program that works with states to implement improved methods of controlling nonpoint pollution. The book finds a lack of commitment by the federal agencies and the states, even though the program can deliver economic gains and environmental benefits to both public and private sectors.
Major findings include:
1. Polluted runoff is the major pollution problem facing all of the states surveyed.
2. Funding to control polluted runoff is a pressing need in each state.
3. The Coastal Nonpoint Program has promoted administrative coordination in the participating states.
4. State programs have not met statutory deadlines for development and many plans lack critical elements needed to protect coastal habitat.
North Carolina is described as having met some of the requirements but there is still much work to be done on material due in 1999. The state has identified several benefits from the program.
Copies of the book or more information can be obtained from the Coast Alliance, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Suite 340, Washington, DC 20003.
Members are welcome at all Board meetings, held the second Thursday of each month at 7:30 PM in the Conference Room of the Duke Marine Lab Auditorium.
The special meeting announced above will also be the Annual Meeting for Crossroads. To allow more time for the main topic, we will omit most of the usual Crossroads Annual Meeting agenda. However, we will be glad to accept your dues for 2001, add you to our mailing list or inform you as to the purposes and functions of Crossroads.
Our apologies to Kelli Creelman, who should have been included with her husband as new Life Members in our last newsletter. Thanks for your support.