Environmental group accuses Ameren of dumping too much waste in Missouri River

11 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 2:21:00 PM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
By: Ian Nickens, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Environmental activist groups Sierra Club and Earth Justice are in court this week saying electric utility Ameren is dumping billions of gallons of harmful wastewater into the Missouri River, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is allowing them to get away with it.

Both sides are bringing witnesses to the Missouri Administrative Court to argue whether Ameren should be allowed to continue its current cooling practices at its coal-fired electric plant in Labadie.

Ameren uses the coal to light fires and boil water, which begins the process to generate electricity. As the coal burns, Ameren disposes of expended heat by letting hot water wash out into the river and replacing it with cool water. However, there is another way to keep power plants cool called a "closed cooling system," which takes in some water, but uses a cooling facility to cool the water for reuse instead of dumping it and taking more water from nearby sources.

Usually, the DNR would test power plants like the one in Labadie to make sure they have the best available technology for the environment, but Sierra Club said the DNR skipped that test for Ameren.

"The Labadie coal plant is putting so much thermal pollution into the Missouri River and-- if you built a coal plant today, it would be illegal to build a plant like that," said Missouri Sierra Club Chapter Director John Hickey.

Hickey also said the increase in water temperature from the hot water Ameren is dumping could harm fish that are used to a cooler water temperature.

Ameren Missouri denies claims like these. It said it has conducted studies that show the coal plant doesn't have an impact on the river, and the temperature difference in the water between when it is taken in and when it returns to the river is two degrees Celcius.

The plaintiffs in this case, the Sierra Club and Earth Justice, are arguing the hot water dumping, along with ash that makes its way into the water, is killing wildlife and poisoning drinkable water.

The defendant, Ameren, is arguing its practice stays within legal guidelines.

This process started in 2015, when, according to St. Louis Public Radio, the Sierra Club filed an appeal to Missouri, saying the permit the Department of Natural Resources granted Ameren didn't provide enough guidelines to protect the environment and it violates the Clean Water Act.

"The Missouri River is not Ameren's sewer to put in their coal-ash waste, to put in their hot water, and whatever else they want," Hickey said. "This is everybody's river, and DNR and Ameren should follow the Clean Water Act and comply. That's what we want to see."

This isn't the first time the Sierra Club and Ameren have butted heads.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ameren settled a lawsuit with the organization over air quality for $2 million in 2016. 

More News

Grid
List
DETROIT (AP) — Bargainers for General Motors and the United Auto Workers have reached a tentative contract deal that could... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 11:05:35 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLE COUNTY - A St. Thomas man is dead after a tractor crash Tuesday evening. According to the Missouri... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:53:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - New trail markers identifying places of interest in the African American community are coming to the downtown Columbia... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:53:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The local segment of a national student film competition called "Campus Movie Fest" (CMF) is starting Wednesday at... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:52:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A racist image imitating the web site of Columbia's Gentry Middle School was discovered on Google. Viewers... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:24:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department (MUPD) is investigating a sexual assault that happened over the weekend near... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:53:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Twelve Democratic presidential candidates took stage Tuesday night in Ohio while mid-Missouri viewers watched on television. The debate... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:44:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri released the results Tuesday of a survey on the campus climate surrounding sexual assault... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:27:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway said Tuesday Missouri is in no shape to handle a recession if financial... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:13:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - From ear to ear, it's hard to miss 94-year-old Elmo Winterhalter's smile. "I don't know I've always... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:40:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in EmVP
COLUMBIA - MU Health Care unveiled a new therapeutic, outdoor activity center for patients Tuesday. The area has a... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 4:14:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Three people were hospitalized after a crash involving an ambulance shut down two major roads Tuesday afternoon. ... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 3:20:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson signed an executive order Tuesday to create a campaign to educate, warn, and deter... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 1:32:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (KSHB) — You never know what you'll encounter as a police officer. One day, you may walk... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 12:47:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who is on a record-breaking pace during the first half of the season, and Wisconsin running... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 12:10:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in Sports
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana authorities say an improvised explosive device blew up in an elementary school playground in Helena.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 11:07:00 AM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Moberly man pleaded guilty to a federal charge of aggravated identity theft and will be sentenced in... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 10:44:41 AM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
(CNN) -- When it comes to concussions in high school sports, there is good news and bad news, a new... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:29:48 AM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
1pm 52°
2pm 54°
3pm 55°
4pm 54°