Ameren

Stephanie Zimmerman, St. Louis Public Radio

Those in Missouri’s solar industry are losing their sunny outlook.

A combination of lower solar equipment costs, a federal tax incentive, and an attractive state-mandated rebate pushed sales through the roof in 2013. The solar industry reported an additional 1,700 jobs in the state.

Ameren is pushing back against EPA proposals to cut carbon emissions from power plants, saying it needs more time to comply.
(Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated at 12:45 p.m. with additional information, new state from Ameren.

The Sierra Club is following through on its threat to sue Ameren Missouri over emissions from three of the company's coal-fired power plants.

Sarah Skiold-Hanlin, St. Louis Public Radio & The Beacon

Updated Thursday 10:15 p.m.

The Sierra Club says Ameren has been routinely violating air quality standards at its St. Louis-area power plants.

In a Notice of Intent to Sue delivered to Ameren on Wednesday afternoon, the Sierra Club alleges the company's Labadie, Meramec, and Rush Island plants have exceeded air pollution limits almost 10,000 times since 2008.

via Google Maps

Despite concerns raised by some members of the St. Louis County Council and local environmental groups, Ameren says its coal fired Meramec Power Plant does not pose a public health risk.

On Tuesday night, members of the St. Louis County Council heard a presentation from Ameren geared toward answering concerns about the environmental impact of the company’s power plant in Oakville.

A key issue is ground water testing near so-called coal ash ponds. Coal ash, a byproduct from coal power plants that contains heavy metals, is stored in ponds near the plant.

(via Google Maps)

The Environmental Protection Agency is holding a public hearing Thursday evening about a proposed agreement to address water pollution from the illegal disposal of coal ash from Ameren’s Rush Island Power Plant.

According to the EPA, approximately 140,000 tons of ash containing heavy metals and other toxic substances contaminated Jefferson County wetlands, an unnamed tributary to Plattin Creek and a portion of Willers Lake.

Ameren Missouri

Missouri's sole nuclear power plant is back online after being shut down for more than three weeks.

Ameren Missouri's Callaway Energy Center was taken off line July 26 after an electrical arc caused a small fire.  The plant resumed operations Sunday morning.  Spokesman Cleve Reasoner says the arc was triggered when a ventilation louver came loose and got too close to the power cables.

"Testing confirmed that there was no impact to the major components," Reasoner said. "So the repairs were those that were associated directly with correction of the arc damage."

(via Google Maps)

Updated at 3:45 p.m. on August 14, 2013 and at 11:10 a.m. on August 15, 2013 (to add comment from Ameren).

Another St. Louis County official is calling for tighter pollution controls at Ameren's Meramec power plant.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley today released a letter he sent to the Environmental Protection Agency, urging the agency to pursue sulfur dioxide controls at the Meramec plant.

Ameren Missouri

Missouri's lone nuclear reactor remains shut down while workers and officials continue to investigate what caused a small fire at the Callaway County plant Friday night.

Ameren Missouri spokesman Cleve Reasoner said it'll be several days before the plant is back online.

"We are assessing impacts from the arc that we had in our cable leading from the plant," Reasoner said. "We've begun disassembling equipment and investigating what the nature of the damage is and what the nature of the cause(s) of the event are."

(courtesy Ameren)

Ameren-Missouri officials say a small fire in a turbine building last night has prompted them to temporarily shut down the nuclear power plant near Fulton, Mo.

The fire was put out quickly, no injuries have been reported and at no time did the situation threaten the public or nearby communities, according to a statement released by Ameren-Missouri.

According to an Ameren-Missouri release:

Sarah Skiold-Hanlin, St. Louis Public Radio

A new report released Tuesday by a coalition of environmental groups focuses on the need to revamp national water pollution standards for coal-fired power plants.

The report cites Ameren's Labadie power plant in Franklin County as one of the worst waterway polluters in the nation.

There remains no public health threat from an underground fire at the Bridgeton Landfill that is burning near radioactive waste that was illegally buried at the nearby West Lake Landfill.

That was the message delivered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to hundreds of residents who packed the Pattonville High School in north St. Louis County Tuesday night.

(Map created for the Labadie Environmental Organization based on Missouri Department of Natural Resources well location data)

Environmental groups are once again urging state officials to require groundwater monitoring at Ameren’s coal-fired power plants in eastern Missouri.

The Sierra Club and Labadie Environmental Organization submitted a letter to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources on Thursday asking the state not to allow Ameren to build new coal ash landfills before testing groundwater for contamination.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation has stalled in the Missouri Senate that would allow investor-owned electric companies to charge consumers for infrastructure improvements.

Opponents argued that Ameren Missouri, Empire District and Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L) make enough money to pay for improvements without levying an Infrastructure System Replacement Surcharge (ISRS) on their customers.  Several Senators are blocking the measure, including Republican Rob Schaaf of St. Joseph.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

A small but vocal group of protesters gathered outside Ameren Missouri's headquarters in St. Louis today to voice their opposition to the company's plans to build several new coal ash landfills.

Ameren Missouri

Updated 3:51 p.m. April 4

Ameren Missouri released a statement today saying that the plant is operating safely, but did not release any further details about those injured. An excerpt of the statement: 

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

A local environmental group filed an appeal this morning in an ongoing effort to keep Ameren from building a coal ash landfill next to its power plant in Labadie.

Last month, a circuit court judge ruled that the Franklin County Commission was in the right when it approved a zoning amendment that would allow construction of the landfill.

But a group of 12 Labadie families, led by the grassroots Labadie Environmental Organization, is challenging that decision.

(via Flickr/Fergus Randall)

One of Illinois's largest natural gas providers is seeking a $50 million rate increase for its 813,000 customers.

Ameren Illinois filed the paperwork requesting the rate case with the Illinois Commerce Commission today. The company says it needs the additional revenue to recoup infrastructure investments and cover the rising costs of delivering natural gas.

This diagram is an excerpt of “figure 1” from Ameren’s “Detailed Site Investigation,” showing the location of the company’s proposed coal ash landfill.
Ameren Missouri

A judge has ruled in favor of an effort to develop a new coal ash landfill in eastern Missouri's Franklin County.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the judge on Friday rejected claims that the Franklin County Commission acted unlawfully in approving a zoning amendment for the landfill.

(via Flickr/[F]oxymoron_0350)

Updated 4:11 p.m. with approximate breakdown of increase for consumers.

Missouri utility regulators have approved a $260 million rate increase for electric customers of Ameren Missouri.

The rate increase approved Wednesday is intended to cover such things as the utility's rising fuel costs, infrastructure improvements, vegetation trimming and storm repairs.

About $90 million of the rate increase goes toward energy efficiency programs that could ultimately save money for residents and businesses.

A collaboration between St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri and Westinghouse Electric Corporation to develop small modular nuclear reactors was passed over Tuesday for initial

funding by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The DOE will, instead, fund a similar project by Babcock & Wilcox and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The Ameren/Westinghouse partnership was seeking $452 million in funding to build the SMR's alongside the utility's Callaway county reactor.

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