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Coal

This map shows the approximate location of groundwater drinking wells near Ameren's proposed coal ash landfill in Franklin County. It was created based on Missouri Department of Natural Resources well location data.
Labadie Environmental Organization

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) is hosting a meeting on Tuesday to get public input on Ameren's plans to build a coal ash landfill next to its power plant in Franklin County.

The meeting will focus on whether the agency should grant Ameren a landfill construction permit.

Ameren Missouri's Vice President of External Affairs and Communications, Warren Wood, said the new coal ash landfill will be state-of-the-art.

Ameren Missouri's largest coal-fired power plant in Labadie, Missouri.
File photo | Veronique LaCapra I 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.

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

When it comes to energy, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt says that the federal government has taken the wrong approach for years.

“The refusal to acknowledge that we’re the Saudi Arabia of coal is a big mistake for us,” Blunt, R-Mo., told St. Charles County officials and business people gathered Thursday night at the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce.

Instead, he said, “There’s a clear war on coal.”

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Once again, the Obama administration is waging war on affordable energy for families and small businesses in states like Missouri.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) requiring future coal-fired power plants to curb or capture at least 40 percent of their carbon emissions and force the use of expensive equipment that is not technologically proven – leading to higher energy costs for families and job creators in Missouri and nationwide.

Environment America

Missouri's coal-fired power plants are among the largest sources of carbon dioxide pollution in the country and a significant contributor to global warming.

(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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s decision to bypass Congress and impose new regulations that aim to reduce harmful emissions drew praise Tuesday from environmental groups and harsh criticism from many coal-state lawmakers.

Arguing that the challenge of climate change “does not pause for partisan gridlock,” Obama told a Georgetown University audience that his Climate Action Plan would cut carbon pollution and “protect our country from the impacts of climate change.”

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: It was high noon on a sunny day when about two dozen environmentalists – one of them holding a cardboard “flat Earth” -- gathered recently outside the St. Louis County office of U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner to protest her stance on climate change.

In particular, the Missouri chapter of the Sierra Club is highlighting a recent letter that the first-term member of Congress sent to a constituent, in which Wagner wrote that the theory that humans are responsible for the planet’s recent temperature increase is “inconsistent and unsound science.”

(via Flickr/iLoveMountains.org)

Bankrupt Patriot Coal will become the first U.S. operator to stop large-scale mountaintop removal mining in Central Appalachia under a historic agreement with three environmental groups.

The deal was struck Thursday and presented to a federal judge in Huntington, W.Va.  It stems from pollution lawsuits filed by the Sierra Club, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and West Virginia Highlands Conservancy.

Will be updated further. Updated 5:06 p.m. with Associated Press story of Quinn's veto.

Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed legislation that would have forced Illinois natural gas utilities to buy synthetic gas from a proposed plant on Chicago's South Side.

The governor vetoed the bill on Friday. It would have forced Nicor Gas and Ameren Corp. to buy synthetic natural gas from the Leucadia Corp. gasification plant for 30 years to help pay for its construction.

(via Google Maps)

Updated at 3:15 p.m. on Aug. 8, 2012:

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources will hold another public awareness session Aug. 14. This one will focus on the permitting process for a proposed coal ash landfill at Ameren's Meramec power plant near Arnold, Mo.

The proposed landfill site is located at 8200 Fine Road, approximately 3.6 miles southeast of the intersection of Interstate 55 and Route 141. Ameren is preparing a detailed site investigation work plan. The session is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Rogers Elementary School, 7700 Fine Road in St. Louis.

Representatives of MDNR and Ameren will be available to answer questions.

Original story posted 5:53 p.m. Aug. 7, 2012:

The St. Louis-based utility company Ameren is proposing to build a coal ash landfill at its Rush Island power plant in Jefferson County, about 10 miles southeast of Festus.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is holding a public awareness session tonight to describe the permitting process for the landfill.

(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

Three Ameren shareholder proposals were voted down today at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in St. Louis.

The proposals sought to have Ameren identify and address environmental problems related to its coal-fired power plants.

Sister Barbara Jennings coordinates the Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, a faith-based advocacy group that seeks to influence the policies of corporations.

(via Flickr/350[sic])

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford used in this report.

Yet another change has been announced regarding the long awaited FutureGen coal project. Ameren's announcement over the summer that it was closing a coal fired power plant in Meredosia, Ill. was more than just a normal business decision.  It cast doubt on the FutureGen project since that Morgan County plant was to be retrofitted and used to demonstrate a different way to use coal. 

(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Board of Commissioners of Franklin County will discuss controversial changes to its zoning ordinance tomorrow.

Up for approval is permit language allowing the utility company AmerenUE to build a coal ash landfill next to its plant in Labadie, Mo.

Patricia Shuban is the Director of the Labadie Environmental Organization, which opposes any rule that would allow Ameren to store toxic substances in the Missouri River floodplain.

(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed the first-ever national standards for air pollution from power plants.

The new rules would require many power plants to install technologies to control mercury, arsenic and other toxic air pollutants.

Environment Missouri's Ted Mathys says the new standards would help protect the health of Missourians.

Ameren Missouri is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the company by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The suit filed in January alleges that Ameren violated the Clean Air Act by making multi-million-dollar modifications to its coal-fired power plant in Festus without installing required pollution controls and obtaining the necessary permits.

Ameren Missouri's largest coal-fired power plant in Labadie, Missouri.
File photo | Veronique LaCapra I St. Louis Public Radio

In the small Franklin County town of Labadie, Missouri, about 35 miles west of St. Louis, a debate is raging over what to do with millions of tons of coal ash.

The dispute is pitting area residents against the utility company Ameren – and putting Franklin County’s commissioners in the middle of the fight.

EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks says the federal government is confident Ameren Missouri violated the Clean Air Act at its Rush Island power plant near Festus.

Brooks was responding to a letter sent to the EPA last month by Senator Roy Blunt.

In the letter, Blunt defended Ameren and accused the EPA of overreaching its authority in order to “broadly penalize the use of coal in the United States.”

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

Ameren operates a coal-fired power plant in Labadie, Mo., about 35 miles west of St. Louis, and wants to build a 400-acre landfill near the plant to store coal waste.

Some Franklin County residents are definitely not happy about a possible landfill in the Missouri River floodplain and the effects it might have on drinking water.

Tonight they will once again be voicing their opposition to proposed regulations that would allow Ameren to go ahead with their plan.

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