Meramec Power Plant

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.

(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.