Matthews’ appeal to a judge’s ruling that would allow a medical waste incinerator to alter their building to meet new federal air-quality standards is moving forward.
Thomas Terrell, attorney for the incineration company MNC Holdings filed court documents last week asking that the town’s appeal be dismissed because the town-hired attorney Rebecca Cheney filed a notice of appeal via e-mail, not through the U.S. mail or hand delivered to his office. Mecklenburg County Superior Court Judge Hugh Lewis ruled during a hearing Wednesday, May 2, that the town will be allowed to continue with the appeal process, Terrell said. The judge also ruled that MNC can’t begin construction on its building at 3250 Campus Ridge Road until the appeal is complete.
Lewis also ruled that MNC has until the federal guideline of October 2014 to comply with new regulations, instead of the October 2012 deadline Mecklenburg County Air Quality and the town support, Terrell said.
Matthews spokeswoman Annette Privette Keller couldn’t confirm the new compliance deadline Wednesday, May 2.
“We are pleased that the judge ruled in our favor today on both the issue of the appeal and the stay. Our attorney will move forward with preparing the appeals case and we look forward to our day in court,” Privette Keller said in an e-mail.
The incinerator resumed work March 26 after being closed for 10 months. It shut down voluntarily April 9, said Don Willard, Mecklenburg County air quality director. The restart was a way for the company to “reset the clock” because the county can void an air-quality permit if a facility doesn’t operate for 18 consecutive months. Company officials already have told county officials they are considering selling the facility. During the 12 days the facility burned waste, county air quality inspectors didn’t find any violations during inspections or receive any odor or dust complaints from nearby residents, Willard said.
Company officials recently offered to pay Matthews new fees or buy additional licenses if town leaders agreed to put an end to their pending court battle with the company. Matthews turned down the cash.