Charah Solutions, which owns the site for a once-proposed coal ash dump in the Colon area of Lee County, said in a statement Monday that new projects it plans to undertake “will have no impact” on the site as the “new work is for different sites outside of Lee County, North Carolina.”
The Rant reported on Friday that Charah, in the wake of a second quarter financial report showing an $18 million loss, indicated it had more than $275 million in “new awards” and as much as $400 million in “verbal awards.” Combined with the revelation from Duke Energy – who had contracted with Charah to dispose of its coal ash waste at sites in Lee and Chatham counties – that the two companies were no longer contractually bound, concerns arose about whether Charah could dump coal ash from elsewhere at the Colon site without having to compensate Lee County (local government negotiated a $12 million payout from Duke in 2015 in the event that the company decided to locate coal ash here).
Still, while Charah said its new awards are “for different sites outside of Lee County,” the statement did not address the question posed by the Rant about what, if any, plans Charah has for the site, which it owns through a North Carolina LLC called Green Meadow.
Therese Vick, a member of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League who gave a presentation on the topic to the Lee County Board of Commissioners on Monday night, said last week that Charah remains “fully permitted” to build a coal ash landfill at the Colon site. And with the passage of the Coal Ash Management Act of 2013, all regulatory power over coal ash disposal is maintained at the state level, giving local government very limited resources with which to fight any decision to locate coal ash here.