Mark Fitts, plant manager for about 200 employees at the BP plant in Wando, provided about 50 912ers with a description of what the Wando plant does (it makes the plastic used in plastic bottles) before delving into the Gulf situation at the August meeting.
While Fitts pointed out several times that he does not work in that part of the business and therefore couldn’t answer some of the questions, he did say that out of 4,000 miles of coastline, only about 600 are impacted by the oil spill. Don’t get me wrong, Fitts pointed out, that’s terrible, but it could be much worse.
“The bottom line is, when something goes wrong, it’s always a human error,” Fitts said, noting that TransOcean actually owns the equipment BP was leasing. TransOcean has since sued BP.
Several in the audience came armed with their own statistics and information. Corexist, the chemical being used to control the oil, contains arsenic, the poison of choice in many murder mysteries and people expressed concern about its use. However, a member who has worked on an oil rig said that arsenic used in this way is not a problem.
Many employees from the local plant have been sent to the Gulf to help with the disaster, Fitts said.
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Later, Council Chair Jamie Feltner gave an explanation of the controversial impact fees. Residents are concerned that higher impact fees could stall growth, particularly business. Feltner pointed out that the choice is for all the residents to share in the cost of new roads, schools, sewers and other services, or for the new-construction homes and businesses to bear the cost.