Local officials, residents lobby for PCS

Published 6:10 pm Thursday, April 30, 2009

By Staff
Commissioners head to D.C. next week as decision nears
Staff Writer
As federal officials in Washington continue their review of PCS Phosphate’s application to expand its Aurora mine, Beaufort County commissioners are getting ready to head to Washington to lobby on the company’s behalf.
Spruill said he’s “very pleased” so far with the work of the lobbyist.
The county is hoping to sway decision makers as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Washington, D.C., office completes an extra review of PCS Phosphate’s application that was forced by the Environmental Protection Agency.
If the Corps of Engineers’ Washington, D.C., office directs the Corps’ Wilmington office to issue the permit, the EPA could still veto the decision. The Army Corps of Engineers will likely make a decision next week.
PCS Phosphate has for years been seeking a permit that would allow it to mine thousands of acres near Aurora, including some wetlands. Environmental groups have opposed the move.
Parallel to the county’s $50,000 effort, community members are rallying behind the company. E-mails urging voters to contact their federal representatives have been sent through several large e-mail lists, including that of the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce.
She praised the company’s economic impact and its copious charitable giving.
The e-mails direct residents to www.pcsvotes.com, a Web site that helps them contact federal officials. The form letters the site generates lobby federal officials to “urge” the EPA not to use its veto authority.