Franklin County completes draft of coal ash landfill regulation; revised version posted | St. Louis Public Radio

Franklin County completes draft of coal ash landfill regulation; revised version posted

Oct 6, 2011

Update: 9:45 a.m. Oct 6:

Projected schedule for the Franklin County landfill zoning regulation:

  • Friday, October 14: New draft of landfill zoning regulation completed and posted to the Franklin Co. website. This new draft will be based on the Commission discussion that took place during their working session on Sept. 26.
  • Friday October 21: If the Commission makes further revisions to the draft landfill regulation, that final version would be completed and posted on the Franklin Co. website today.
  • Tuesday October 25: Possible vote on final landfill zoning regulation at the Commission's regular 10:00 a.m. meeting in the Commission Chambers, Government Center, 400 East Locust, Room 206, Union, Mo. 63084.

Up until Oct. 21st, the public may submit questions and comments to the Franklin County Commission through the County Attorney, Mark Vincent, at


Update: 1:00 p.m. Sept. 30: The Franklin Co. Board of Commissioners met this morning to discuss the draft landfill zoning regulation. They've posted a revised version on the Franklin Co. website.


Orignal Story from Sept. 26:

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners has completed a draft of its controversial landfill zoning regulation.

Ameren Missouri operates the state's largest coal-fired power plant in Labadie, a small Franklin County town about 35 miles west of St. Louis. The company has purchased land and plans to build a 400-acre coal ash landfill near the Labadie plant. The coal ash ponds that currently hold the plant’s waste are running out of room, and one of them is leaking.

Franklin County’s current land zoning regulations are silent when it comes to landfills.

As written, the new regulation would allow coal ash landfills in any zoning district in the county, with a number of restrictions.

The landfill would need to be adjacent to the power plant generating the waste. Each cell of the landfill would have a double liner whose base would be at least two feet above the natural water table, and would be surrounded by a berm as high as the 500-foot* flood level.

And the landfill could not accept coal ash from any other power plants.

Franklin County commissioner Ann Schroeder says the commission will have a working session to discuss the draft regulation this Friday, Sept. 30, at 10:00 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Franklin County Government Center, 400 E. Locust Street in Union, Mo., and will be open to the public.

"But it’s not an open mic session, it’s for us to go through what we have now, and talk about it, and our concerns and likes, dislikes, everything like that," Schroeder said. "Because we’ve already had the public sessions before this."

Schroeder expects the commission to vote on a final regulation within a week or two.

The grassroots advocacy group, the Labadie Environmental Organization, has led a vocal opposition to Ameren’s landfill proposal.

Patricia Schuba of LEO says she has a number of concerns about the draft.

"There are many questions that are still out there about these regulations, some new things that were added, some things that were deleted, and what we would like is that the public have a chance to comment on this, and that we have a little more time to review it," Schuba said.

Schuba says people should still express their concerns to the commission by fax, phone, or e-mail.

In a written statement, Ameren Missouri vice president Mark Birk provided the following comment about the company's plan to build a landfill in Labadie: "We are committed to designing and building the landfill in a manner that is protective of the environment.  In fact, in response to concerns raised by the public,  we recently  completed an evaluation of the floodplain. As indicated in an independent engineering floodplain analysis prepared by CDG Engineers, the development of the Labadie Landfill will not have an adverse effect upon the capacity of the Missouri River to handle a flood event. That comprehensive evaluation will be submitted to the Commission and may be helpful in evaluating the issues presented."

*Presumed error in draft zoning regulation; should read: "500-year."