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Posted: 5:49 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, 2013
By Linzi Sheldon
MATTHEWS, N.C. —
A biomedical waste incinerator in Matthews is officially shutting its doors.
MNC Holdings shut down the incinerator on May 6, 2011, but started it up for a short time in March 2012 to keep the permit valid.
Now attorneys for the MNC Holdings said the company has been forced to close the plant permanently because of the town's efforts.
"There's always been people who wanted to put this place out of business," attorney Benne Hutson said.
Judy Drake lives just up the road from the incinerator on Campus Ridge Road and said she hated the smell of the smoke.
"It is great," she said of the closure. "I just did not think I'd ever see it."
EPA air quality standards came out in 2009 effective October 2014 and MNC Holdings said they required upgrades to the plant.
The town of Matthews asked Mecklenburg County to move up the deadline to October 2012, a request it granted, and denied approval for the changes.
Another attorney with MNC Holdings, Tom Terrell, said the town was working "to close the business without having to compensate it."
Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor said it's not true.
"Did Matthews officials try to force this company out of town?" Eyewitness News asked.
"Absolutely not," Taylor said.
He said according to zoning, the company couldn't make changes unless it was for safety reasons. He said their changes would expand the facility, which is also against zoning.
MNC Holdings officials argued changes were allowed if they were required by law and stated they could make the changes without expanding.
The deadline was extended to October 2013 as legal proceedings continued.
In November, MNC won in appeals court.
Taylor said he wants to know why they aren't building now.
"Bring it on down," he said.
But Hutson and Terrell said it's too late.
"It's not that we lost the game," Hutson said. "We ran out of time."
Both attorneys said the company could just walk away from the site but will instead tear down the incinerator, clean up the site and put a concrete slab in its place.
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