Seven of Ameren Missouri's 12 coal ash ponds inspected for structural integrity by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been rated "poor."
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Ameren challenges the "poor" ratings and contends the federal agency did not seem to have a set methodology for ratings. Mark Birk, the vice president of generation for Ameren, says many of the issues raised in inspections were pointed out by utility officials. Birk says the company's coal ash ponds and landfills are checked regularly.
Forty-one ash ponds were checked in Missouri. Three others at an Empire District plant also were rated "poor" because of a lack of technical information. A "poor" rating does not mean there is an immediate safety threat.
Impoundments across the country were inspected after a Tennessee spill.
Recently, Ameren Missouri's efforts to build a coal ash landfill near its Labadie plant in has stirred strong debate.