PO BOX 44 ~ Saxapahaw, North Carolina 27340 ~ Phone (336) 525-2003 office ~ Email:


February 3, 2010

CONTACT: Sue Dayton
BREDL-NC Healthy Communities
(336) 525-2003

Group will hold community informational meeting on medical waste incinerator

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) will hold a community informational meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 8, at the Matthews Public Library located at 230 Matthews Station St. in Matthews, NC.

The community informational meeting will take place prior to a public hearing that has been scheduled for Thursday, February 11 at 6:30 p.m., at the Central Piedmont Community College, Levine Campus, concerning the Title V permit renewal for the BMWNC medical waste incinerator. The League, Clean Air Carolina, the Town of Matthews, and a number of concerned citizens requested the hearing.

The BMWNC medical waste incinerator, which began its operations in 1985, has a history of emissions violations and air pollution control equipment failures. The community informational meeting has been scheduled to address the public health risks related to the continued operations of the incinerator under existing regulations recently revised by the federal government. State and local agencies will be required to make medical waste incinerators comply with the new rules; however, the Mecklenburg County Air Quality (MCAQ) is proposing to re-issue the new permit to the BMWNC medical waste incinerator under the old rules.

In October, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued new rules for medical waste incinerators that set more stringent standards for the amounts of toxic air pollutants that can be released, such as mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, dioxins, furans, hydrogen chloride, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. These toxic air pollutants have been linked with asthma, cancer, liver and kidney disease, neurological disorders, reproductive problems, depression, and birth defects.

In addition to setting more stringent standards for air toxics, the new rules require existing medical waste incinerators to develop and implement a recycling and segregation plan with generators that will result in a decrease in waste burned. Uncontrolled emissions as a result of air pollution control equipment failure, which were exempt under the old rules, will now be considered.

Sue Dayton, Statewide Coordinator for NC Healthy Communities, said, “Under the state statutes the MCAQ is authorized to adopt and implement the new EPA rules. Instead of waiting close to another year for the state to adopt the new EPA rules, MCAQ should not re-issue a new permit to the BMWNC until it adopts the new EPA rules so that the residents of Matthews will not have to continue to breathe unsafe levels of toxic air pollutants now deemed unsafe by the EPA.”

For more information contact Sue Dayton at: 336-525-2003 or