Spire | St. Louis Public Radio

Spire

Josh Graciano | Flickr

A Missouri appeals court has ordered the natural gas company Spire to pay customers at least $4 million in reimbursements after it improperly charged them for pipe repairs.

In a trio of decisions, judges from the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals ruled the utility improperly used surcharges to fund infrastructure improvements that were not eligible for those fees.

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas in Moreland Township, Pa.
Ruhrfisch | Wikimedia Commons

Natural gas company Spire could soon win federal approval to build a 65-mile pipeline that ferries natural gas from eastern U.S. shale formations to the St. Louis region. However, some residents and environmental lawyers want to put a halt to the project, saying there are too many environmental risks involved with building the pipeline. 

The Spire STL Pipeline would run through Scott, Greene and Jersey counties in Illinois and St. Charles and St. Louis counties in Missouri. Because it crosses state lines, it requires approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which released an environmental assessment of the project at the end of September.

Area residents and environmentalists complain that the project would only encourage more hydraulic fracturing, an activity that emits methane, one of several greenhouse gases that causes climate change.