Thank you for exposing the tactics employed by the K&L Gates law firm ("How many ways has K&L Gates touched you today?" Jan. 19). Anonymous online defenders insist K&L Gates lawyers are just doing their job.
Let's take a look at the job they're doing. K&L Gates represents Titan Cement, which is trying to build one of the biggest cement plants in the country near Wilmington, located on the water and within three miles of public schools.
If K&L Gates succeeds at this job, this cement plant will destroy more than 1,000 acres of wetlands mining limestone to make cement.
The proposed plant's kilns would release 263 pounds of mercury into the air, where it would settle into the water and end up in shellfish and fish that we eat.
With K&L Gates' assistance, Titan and the cement industry lobby are challenging new rules requiring cement kilns to control emissions and substantially decrease hazardous air pollutant emissions.
K&L Gates' work for Titan includes helping it avoid comprehensive environmental review of the project, instead working with the state to proceed permit-by-permit.
K&L Gates is taking this same permit tactic in southern Durham, pushing officials at each stage for technical decisions while avoiding a hard look at the environmental implications of the entire project. Once all these small decisions have been made, the community will be left wondering how we got there. And no one will be held responsible for what happened. It's like death by a thousand cuts.
K&L Gates is skirting around rules and changing laws that get in their way—Down East and here at home. They fought to move a critical watershed boundary by Jordan Lake. They tried to stick digital billboards flashing 10,000 ads/day across Durham. They're fighting for their clients to pollute the air, water and food supply with mercury near Wilmington.
Yep. Just doing their job.