Health, Science, Environment

Ameren Callaway Nuclear Plant
2:24 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

NRC looks at lubrication concern at Callaway nuclear plant

A Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspection team is at Ameren Corp.'s Callaway nuclear plant near Fulton after concerns were raised about lubrication of an auxiliary feedwater pump.

An Ameren spokesman says the inspection is unrelated to heightened concerns at nuclear plants following the damage to the plant in Japan.

The NRC says an oil sample taken Feb. 8 showed the auxiliary pump might have been inadequately lubricated.

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Nuclear Energy
4:48 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

Callaway is prepared for "worst case" disasters, says Ameren

View Callaway nuclear power plant in a larger map

Missouri’s sole nuclear power plant was built to handle “worst case” natural disasters.

That’s what Ameren officials told reporters Friday morning, at a press conference called in response to the nuclear crisis in Japan.

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EPA / Air Pollution
4:05 pm
Wed March 16, 2011

EPA proposes first-ever national air pollution standards for power plants

Ameren’s 2,400-megawatt plant near Labadie, Missouri, is the state’s largest coal-fired power plant.
(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.

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Ameren Missouri lawsuit
5:27 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Ameren to U.S. district court: dismiss EPA lawsuit

Ameren's Rush Island power plant near Festus, Missouri. (Google Maps)

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.

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Southwestern Illinois Levees
9:55 am
Fri March 11, 2011

FEMA shifts course on flood map modeling

A levee in Granite City, Ill.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is giving a reprieve to southwestern Illinois and other U.S. areas guarded by levees it was to have deemed functionally useless.

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate told federal lawmakers Thursday that the agency would hold off on decertifying 64 miles of earthen levees protecting St. Louis' Illinois suburbs.

Fugate says the agency would stop using a questioned assessment technique and turn to a more nuanced measure of the actual protection the levees provide.

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Superfund - Lead Pollution
4:24 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

EPA lists Washington County Lead District-Furnace Creek as Superfund site

Southeast Missouri lead district. (Wikimedia Commons user Kbh3rd)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added the Washington County Lead District-Furnace Creek site in Washington County, Missouri, to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).

The NPL is a list of the nation's hazardous waste sites with the highest priority for cleanup.

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National Children's Study
1:32 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

First local baby born into National Children's Study

(via Flickr/janineomg)

Back in December 2010 we told you that St. Louis is joining the National Children's Study, the largest long-term study of child health ever conducted in the United States.

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Biotech Agriculture
12:32 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

Monsanto and Sapphire Energy to collaborate on algal gene research

Flasks of Algae at the Sapphire Energy Lab in San Diego. (Sapphire Energy, Inc.)

Monsanto is entering a multi-year research collaboration with San Diego-based Sapphire Energy.

Sapphire specializes in genetically-engineering algae with the goal of producing drop-in replacements for fuels like gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

The collaboration between Sapphire and Monsanto will focus on identifying genes that positively affect growth in algae and that might also increase agricultural crop yields.

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Missouri River Study
3:51 pm
Mon March 7, 2011

Corps seeks public input about report on future of Missouri River

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a new report about its planned re-evaluation of the future use of the Missouri River, and is looking for more public input on the study.

The draft report summarizes the more than 1,200 comments received by the Corps last year during the study scoping period.

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High School Sports Brain Injury
5:12 pm
Fri March 4, 2011

St. Louis medical professionals supporting High School Sports Brain Injury legislation

Missouri Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger (R-Lake St. Louis) is sponsoring HB300, the High School Brain Injury Prevention Act. He spoke to the press about the bill today at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis area medical professionals are throwing their support behind a bill making its way through the Missouri legislature. The bill would help protect high school athletes from concussions.

Among other measures, the High School Sports Brain Injury Prevention Act would require student athletes to be cleared by a doctor before returning to play or practice.

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