December 25, 2011

Featured GLI Supporter of the week: Charah®, Inc.

Charah®, Inc. is based in Louisville and contributed $10,000 to Greater Louisville, Inc. (GLI) in 2011.

On their website, Charah®, Inc. defines it's mission as "an ash management company developing and implementing innovative solutions and services to the coal-fired utility industry." 

Elsewhere on it's website, Charah®, Inc. anonymously references their contract at Louisville Gas and Electric's Mill Creek plant in a case study and takes credit for why LG&E has refrained from construction of a new ash pond::
A large utility company in the Louisville, KY area was nearing capacity for its ash storage pond. With approximately five years of capacity left in the pond, the utility approached Charah looking for options for handling the bottom ash produced daily at the utility. If a viable solution was not found, the utility would be forced to build a new ash pond or to have the existing ash pond cleaned at a great expense to the station.
...The utility has gained storage pond space and has saved tremendously on landfill space without constructing new pond storage."
Oh dear. Wonder why they stopped short, without taking credit for reversing climate change?

It's a Thursday, November 3, 2011 afternoon in Frankfort. State legislators on the Natural Resources and Environment Committee are having their little meeting. (minutes) Questions are getting answers. Oh, and Danny Gray, president of Charah®, Inc. he's there.

Question: "Is coal ash fed to livestock?" 
"Commissioner Scott said no. However, Commissioner Scott noted that research is currently being done using CCRs (Coal Combustion Residuals) in gardening, and it could be considered a beneficial re-use."
Gray, who probably has about zero environmental credentials, also volunteered, "CCRs can be used in wallboard, cement, and in forage crops." 
Definition: forage crops: n agriculture, fodder or animal feed is any foodstuff that is used specifically to feed domesticated livestock such as cattle, goats,...

This is a good place as any to mention that CCRs contain the following metals: arsenic, barium, beryllium, boron, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, mercury, nickel, selenium and vanadium.

In 1999, the EPA studied agricultural uses of CCRs but concluded they didn't "believe that these uses of coal combustion wastes present a significant risk to human health or the environment.” Since 2010, the EPA as been taking a closer look at regulating coal ash.

In September 2010, there was an EPA CCR Public hearing held in Louisville.  Of the 188 people who gave public input, 26 were employees of Charah®, Inc. A couple more were (then) employees of Ameren, a St. Louis-based company.(pdf list of speakers)  Charah partners with Ameren at one Missouri power plant to prepare and bag coal ash as Quickcrete™ for Home Depot stores in the St. Louis area, and partners with them at another one to grind limestone used in the coal ash-capturing process. (Charah®, Inc.)

Another Question at the Natural Resources and Environment Committee meeting: "Where are recycled products from CCRs used?" 

Charah®, Inc. President Gray replies "that CCRs are a commodity that Charah, Inc. does export to Panama and Puerto Rico."

A curious detail as coal ash is a sensitive issue down there. AES settled a lawsuit in 2007 with the Dominican Republic because 82,000 tons of coal ash found on that country's beaches had originated from an AES-owned coal-fired power plant in Puerto Rico. (Bloomberg)

I'm not saying there's a connection, but it seems odd that it is cost-effective to transport a relatively heavy, hazardous product to locations more than 1,000 miles away?

Their Products:
Charah®, Inc.'s Project Mix® is a product creates by mixing bottom ash with cement. They market it to to contractors and "do-it-yourselfers" who likely have no idea how dangerous the stuff is.
Charah®, Inc.'s PriceLite® is trucked by contract haulers to a manufacturing plant it owns in Emporia, Virginia, where it is eventually becomes "coal-ash-derived aggregate" and is sold to manufacturers of concrete blocks and precast concrete products. Charah®, Inc. has a "new" Midwest facility currently under construction, but not sure of it's location. (Munson)
Charah®, Inc.'s EcoSand™ is a "recycled, non-hazardous, bottom ash aggregate." Atop the list of acceptable uses the company markets this product? Fill sand. Earthjustice has petitioned the EPA to making it unacceptable to use fly ash-containing fill sand where the pollutants could leach out by contact with water.
Charah’s EcoFill™ is well, it's what all these products are: coal fly ash. But the cute little makes it okay to use it "to replace traditional raw materials such as dirt, gravel and sand in fill applications."

In September 2011, Charah®, Inc.'s named Sean McGuire a Vice President. (Charah®) McGuire and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer are both members of the Trinity High School Alumni Association, and both recipients of the the prestigious annual Honor Alumnus Award. (THSAA)

The owners:
 Charah®, Inc. is privately owned by  Charles and Janet Price, who named the company for their son and daughter, Charles and Sarah. They have set up a non-profit, the Price Foundation, as a vehicle for their charitable giving.  The Price Foundation is funded solely by Charah®, Inc. In 2010, the non-profit doled out $128, 860 amongst these religious non-profits:
A Woman's Choice Resource Center, Campus Crusade for Christ, A Refuge Foundation, Inc., City on a Hill Production, Care for Pastors, Cornerstone International, Focus on the Family, Center for Christian Study International, Mexico Baptist Church, Mission Builders, New Mission Systems International, Team Expansion, The Family Foundation, The Navigators, The Ridge, Thistleband Ministries, Transformation Ministries, Pioneers

Charah®, Inc. has joined the Louisville Metro Council and others in providing funding for the purchase of Southwest Christian Ministries. (84WHAS)

Price is one of the 2011 winners of the Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" award (Business First), the same award Fischer had won in 1990! (the 'Ville Voice)(WFPL)  Incidentally, following a keynote talk from Fischer in April of 2011, Charah®, Inc. received the Innovation and Commercialization Center (ICC) "Client of the Year Award" from ENTERPRISECORP, what GLI calls their "enterprise development arm."

BUT WAIT! This wouldn't be comprehensive without a Bud Schardein quote:  
"We've been using it very successfully," said MSD Executive Director Bud Schardein, who approved Charah®, Inc.'s products for use in MSD projects.(ari)
Oh dear. But this can't be any longer. Someone else needs to look into THAT^!

My point, if you're still reading, GLI exists to subvert the public will and allow corporations to introduce arsenic and mercury into our water when we aren't looking.

01/09/2011: 11:04 PM Update for inquiring minds:

1) EPA's Federal Register's Ruling (June 21, 2010) with discussion: View

2)   -->I uploaded Government of Dominican Republic v. AES Corp. (12/05/2006), and the defense attorney's name really was "Butswinkas." Also, interesting footnote at the bottom: "Plaintiff does refer to the Bahamas and Haiti refusing to take the ash.": View  
3) According to the Kentucky's Secretary of State, Price is doing business in more names than just Charah®, Inc., but I haven't got a chance to research those entities at this time:

CHARLES E. PRICE    Director    CHARAH ENVIRONMENTAL    A-Active    0234550
CHARLES E. PRICE    Director    CHARAH, INC.    A-Active - Good    0234550
CHARLES E. PRICE    Incorporator    CHARAH ENVIRONMENTAL    A-Active    0234550
CHARLES E. PRICE    Incorporator    CHARAH, INC.    A-Active - Good    0234550
CHARLES E. PRICE III    Incorporator    CHARLES E. PRICE III INSURANCE, INC.    A-Active - Good    0751197
CHARLES E. PRICE III    Incorporator    PRICE FAMILY HOLDINGS, INC.    A-Active - Good    0779985
CHARLES EDGAR PRICE    Director    CIRCLE FOUR, INC.    A-Active - Good    0214103

Price, Charles E    Manager     Ash Management Services, LLC     A-Active - Good0722836Principal Office:12601 PLANTSIDE DRIVE, LOUISVILLE, KY 40299

4) There's a list of companies which will not be lucky enough to be featured in my upcoming research because they heartlessly dropped their membership in GLI. Their loss, right?:
Insider Louisville: GLI has lost dozens of larger donors since 2009 including King Southern Bank

UPDATE MARCH 6, 2012, 4:47 PM:
Price's also own at least one private jet through a company they have incorporated as Priceflight, Inc. Janet Price is the registered agent, but Charles Price has signed their corporate documents. (pdf of 2012 Annual Report to SOS)

Charah®, Inc. appears to be supplying coal ash for infill alongside the North-flowing, French Broad River, just West of the Asheville Regional Airport. 

From Google maps- Asheville Regional Airport expansion includes an area to the West that requires infilling, and Charah®, Inc.
4/25/2013 Updates:
I prepared readers a couple days ago Mitch McConnell was going to celebrate Earth Day with these guys:
But Joe Sonka wins:


  1. You may want to look into "PriceFlight, Inc.", the company jet that Charles Price uses nearly daily to visit locations of both a personal and business nature. Some trips of less than two hours from the Bowman Field base. The touted CEERT certified new office that Charah built falls well short of offsetting the carbon footprint that their jet produces.

    Charah's coal ash landfill operations at the Ashville, NC airport is a "trainwreck in waiting" for the unsuspecting people of Ashville.

    Good luck to the people of Maryland that enjoy the shores of the Chesapeake bay, you are next to welcome a coal ash landfill to the neighbor hood.

  2. Thanks for an interesting read Curtis!

  3. Thanks, Curt! As always, you break it down!