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Since 1973, American Carolina Insurance has provided personal insurance services to businesses and individuals. Our staff is friendly, knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated to our clients. We consider ourselves your advocate, and use our knowledge and broad... more.
The Jan. 30 edition of "Green Radio Bistro" featured a unique type of energy-efficient lighting that's manufactured in Penrose, N.C. Co-host Dee Eggers, an environmental-studies professor at UNCA, interviewed Greg Sedgwick and Steve McNabb of American Carolina, which manufactures electronic high-intensity-discharge lights that use up to 65 percent less energy than conventional HID lighting.
Armed with a U.S. Department of Energy grant of $420,000 awarded last year through Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Western Carolina University, American Carolina Stamping began working on a prototype of the product six months ago, said Steve McNabb, president of American Carolina Stamping.A dehumidifier heats the water, allowing the consumer to run a dehumidifier and water heater for 30 percent less, saving on utility bills, he said. McNabb said he was pleased with the Energy Department's positive response. "I would say we've got a 90 to 95 percent chance of getting this and our other project going," he said."If this and our plans for energy efficient lights come through, we will probably need to hire an additional 60 to 80 employees within 90 days." American Carolina Stamping employs 14 people, he said. The government contract marks a stark turnaround for McNabb, who has waged a long battle with the Environmental Protection Agency after the EPA's investigation unit raided his plant in January 1999. Officers were acting on tips that the plant was improperly disposing hazardous waste, including a hexane-based solvent, commercially sold as Zep. McNabb won support from local legislators in Congress and in the state General Assembly. McNabb said earlier this month he plans to sue EPA criminal investigators for at least $10 million over the four-year investigation, which turned up no wrongdoing.During the investigation his company could not pursue government contracts, he said, costing him thousands of dollars.He plans to sue the EPA for lost business, attorneys' fees and other damages. McNabb said he felt vindicated by the company's success with federal energy representatives at Tuesday's fair. "This is payback for all that," he said, referring to the EPA investigation. The company has already received blueprints for a new energy efficient electronic ballast that works with all lighting, McNabb said.The lights are programmable so they don't all come on at the same time and are 40 to 50 percent more efficient than standard lights. American Carolina Stamping, which is between U.S. 64 and Old Hendersonville Highway, will be the manufacturing representative for Aurora Lighting of Knoxville, Tenn.The company has already sent engineering prints for the product to the Penrose business, McNabb said, with a production request of one million units per month. McNabb credited the partnership of Western Carolina University and A-B Tech along with his company for Tuesday's success. "We're on a roll," McNabb said.
Steve McNabb is president of American Carolina Stamping in Etowah. (Michael Justus/Times-News)Steve McNabb, whose wife, Jan, owns American Carolina Stamping, this week said he is gathering information to sue members of the Environmental Protection Agency's Criminal Investigation Division for discrimination and retaliation during a more than four-year investigation of the Transylvania County company. McNabb said he plans to sue for $10 to $15 million for lost business, attorneys fees and other damages. "When you're under criminal investigation you can't take government contracts," he said.McNabb contended that the solvent was too expensive to dump and that he reuses it until it evaporates.Zep is only considered a hazardous waste because of its flammability, he said. McNabb said tips came from disgruntled employees and that the investigation was retaliation for insults he lobbed at the initial investigator, an N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources employee. He enlisted the help of federal and state politicians as the investigation continued and garnered media attention including an appearance on the CBS news program 60 Minutes, which looked at alleged abuses by the CID. As is the custom of federal law enforcement groups, the CID refused to talk about the case while it was open or even to confirm whether such an investigation existed. Meanwhile, McNabb uncovered information from DENR pointing to the wire tapping of his phone.In 2000 he brought a conspiracy lawsuit against the CID, but the $6 million complaint was denied because of the federal agents' special immunity. In 2003, 10 months before the expiration of the five-year limit on investigations, the EPA closed the case against McNabb.
Steve McNabb, owner of America Carolina Stamping in Penrose, is waiting for approval from the national laboratory to manufacture prototypes of patents produced at Oak Ridge.ACS will also begin producing parts for NeedleZap - a relatively new device that incinerates used needles."We have a very energetic plan of having 1,000 employees by the next five years," McNabb said. Snow Comes, But Sledders Remain Scarce On Hillside Monday, March 1, 2004 -- By Jennifer Uhl-Ford News Editor Kells Hogan remembers snowy days in Transylvania County when crowds of local children gathered with various snow crafts at his property on Walnut Hollow Road."I have a hill that used to be a favorite sledding place," he said."But hardly anybody visits anymore."Nowadays, tracks from sled rails rarely appear through the fallen snow on his hillside, and he provided a simple answer for the vacancy.
Steve McNabb, owner of American Carolina Stamping, is shown by one of the machines in his company on 64 West . (PATRICK SULLIVAN/TIMES-NEWS)Steve McNabb, owner of American Carolina Stamping, said Wednesday a Sept. 4 EPA complaint and compliance order could mean he has to pay $1.5 billion in penalties for alleged hazardous waste violations dating back to 1994. EPA officials could not be reached for comment Thursday.But McNabb said EPA officials told him his math could be correct. Agents from the EPA's criminal investigations division raided the small plant April 15, 1999 looking for hazardous waste violations. McNabb said he has fought the EPA's attempts to get a criminal indictment.By law, the EPA had five years after the raid in which to file charges or drop the case.The complaint and compliance order is not an indictment. This is the first official response from the EPA since that raid more than four years ago, McNabb said.In his fight against the investigation he garnered support from U.S. Rep.McNabb has denied that his plant, which manufactures wire forms, electrical contacts and metal stamping products, improperly disposed of a cleaning solvent. "There was no environmental harm," he said."This is all strictly paperwork.And I can prove that we have the proper permits." The counts carry various penalties assessed at $27,500 a day, some dating back to 1994.McNabb said by his calculations EPA expects him to pay $1.5 billion. McNabb said he wrote a letter to the EPA after the raid saying his plant was operating as it had and asked if he should change any operations to become compliant.He said he never got a response. The order said traces of the solvent, which contains hexane, alcohol and methanol, were found outside the plant in a burn pit and in barrels. McNabb said the plant has no burn pit and that the barrels contained the old solvent.His plant is small enough, McNabb said, that it did not need types of permits the EPA said he lacked. The solvent itself, he has said, easily evaporates and is not hazardous. McNabb said he intends to request a hearing to contest the order.