Friday, September 12, 2008

Retroactive regulation?

One of the issues with Titan is that existing regulations do not prevent what they are proposing.
Article here
Lots of Titan info here
Notice that Titan is already looking to expand mining operations into Pender County

It seems obvious that if existing regulation prohibited this type of development, we wouldn't be faced with this issue.

Can a new regulation be developed an retroactively applied?
Would this be "fair"? Legal?

We have numerous examples of regulations being enacted following damage (e.g. CERCLA after Love Canal, The Oil Pollution Act after the Exxon Valdez spill). Most environmental regulation is reactive, some is proactive, but is it possible to have retroactive regulation?


Whitney Knapp said...

One would think that if the wetland area that would be affected was so "precious" there would be existing regulations to prevent it from being developed.

I would say that while Castle Hayne can develop new zoning laws to prevent this plant from being built, they would not be able to apply it. The proposal is already on the table and up for consideration, and was designed to comply with the current laws.

With that being said, I think that after reviewing the proposal and analyzing the situation,further recommendations can be made to help offset the environmental impact, but the right to build on that land can't be taken from Titan America in hindsight, but only to prevent future growth and development.

Drew Moxon said...

I would think that there's a way to do it if you word the regulation right (and if you know anything about the New Hanover water treatment plant, you know that the county knows how to enact tricky legislation). It might be possible if they regulated it in a way that all industries of a certain type have to submit to an environmental impact survey and have that survey also cover what the expected environmental impacts are for the next few years. Then have the regulations first year of surveying take place right after it is passed, so Titan would be forced to comply because it does not make illegal or put regulations on anything Titan has already done. Just a thought.

Lindsay Lamb said...

I'm not sure I understand why Titan can't be stopped from building. Just because there is no preexisting document protecting this area, it can't be stopped if the wetlands and people are in danger?

Brad Coffey said...
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