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Coal Ash Concerns Send Franklin Co. Group to Chicago

Megan Lynch
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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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A citizens group from rural Missouri is so fired-up over the hazards of coal-fired power — they’re travelling miles to tell federal regulators about their fears.

You heard the KMOX News reports last week detailing potential risks of storing the tons of coal ash generated making electricity to power our homes, schools and businesses.

Members of the Labadie Environmental Organization have been battling plans to build a storage facility for the waste near the Missouri River in Franklin County. They’re taking their arguments to the US EPA at a public hearing in Chicago Thursday.

“Because we don’t have state regulations, because we don’t have federally enforceable regulations through the EPA, the industry has been left to regulate itself,” and LEO’s Patricia Schuba tells KMOX she fears that hasn’t been enough to protect the environment and nearby communities.

“As Missourians we have no idea what’s happening,” says Schuba. But in Illinois, Schuba says a recent report revealed contamination five miles away from one coal ash storage pond where groundwater was monitored.

The EPA is conducting a series of hearings before deciding whether coal ash should be managed under hazardous waste rules.

Ameren Corporation has proposed a coal ash storage site at its Labadie Power Plant. Executives tell KMOX it will be state of the art — designed with the potentially tougher federal regulations in mind. It would store the waste in a solid form, instead of the current practice of storing coal ash in wet ponds. Ameren officials say it would be lined, covered, and have a system for collecting and treating any water that leaches through the material.

Click here for more information from the U.S. EPA

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