Published 12:47 am Thursday, November 3, 2011
In an interview with the Washington Daily News last week, Beaufort County Commissioner Jay McRoy dismissed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as “a liberal governmental entity.”
McRoy discounted pollution-emission numbers, self-reported to EPA by North Carolina industries in accordance with federal law.
And the commissioner said, in no uncertain terms, that he was in favor of a sulfur-melting plant PotashCorp has proposed building near Aurora.
In fact, the Chocowinity resident pointed out the fact that a lot of residents of his community work at PotashCorp, “and they are for whatever (PotashCorp) needs.”
In a separate interview, Commissioner Robert Cayton declined to enter an opinion on the much-talked-about sulfur-melting facility.
“Personally, people coming to me have the opinion that it would be good for Beaufort County,” said Cayton, an Aurora resident.
Yet, Cayton echoed Jerry Langley, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, in saying “we will certainly listen to everybody and we will take all positions and points of view into consideration.”
Setting aside the questions of whether the sulfur-melting plant would be bad for the local environment or good for the local economy, we wonder if the county commissioners are doing their objective due diligence and obtaining the facts on PotashCorp’s proposal.
We saw what happened when some of the commissioners — OK, most of them — turned a blind eye toward reported financial difficulties at what was Beaufort County Medical Center.
The partial result of the commissioners’ abandonment of their duty was a less fiscally sound hospital.
Are the commissioners ceding their duty to other parties on the sulfur-melting issue as well?
Time will tell.