Commissioner: On Coal Ash, “NIMBY” Doesn’t Cut It

Megan Lynch

UNION, Mo. (KMOX) – When it comes to storing tons of potentially toxic coal ash,  if Franklin County residents oppose the idea, are they the ones who should come up with an alternative?

That’s what one commissioner seems to be suggesting.

County Commissioners are set to make a final decision today, months after taking up what’s become a sometimes contentious public debate over whether the county should allow utilities to landfill the byproducts of burning coal.

Ameren has proposed just such a site — on 400 acres – at it’s Labadie Power Plant along the Missouri River.  The company has said it’s running out of existing storage and says it has designed the proposed landfill with multiple environmental safeguards.  A site investigation has already met state requirements.

“If we’re not going to approve this, then I think we have to give them some direction, or at least something other than we don’t want it.”  Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer tells KMOX it’s his opinion there has to be some partnership and balance between residents and corporate citizens.  “That plant has been there for 40 years and it’s been producing fly ash.  There’s two big fly ash ponds there now.  A lot of these, most of the people who are complaining moved into the area after the power plant was there.”

Opponents of the coal ash landfill have launched a public campaign to stop the coal ash landfill — including a website.  They contend that even with environmental measures the storage site still has a risk of exposing groundwater, and eventually drinking water, to potentially toxic heavy metals from the ash.

The group expressed frustration earlier this year they weren’t allowed to testify specifically about Ameren’s proposal.  Critics of Ameren’s plan have suggested an advisory committee study the issue and propose the best options for Franklin County, but that’s not part of the zoning proposal being decided this week.

The Commission meets this morning starting at 9:30.  While the meeting is public, the commission won’t be taking public comment, but will be considering hours of testimony offered in previous hearings.

Click here for Tuesday’s story

Copyright KMOX Radio

  • JuanHAJ

    проститутки самары .

  • JBD

    Put the coal ash in the empty coal cars and take it back to Wyoming where it came from. Floodplains are for floods, not coal ash landfills. “NIMFP” would be a more accurate characterization of the residents of Franklin County, not “NIMBY”.

  • scaugya

    Toxic ash in a river that travels all the way to the Mississippi and beyond is NOT a NIMBY issue.

    Griesheimer used to have an Ameren hard hat on the shelf in his Capitol office in Jeff City, and word has it that he’s been promised a lucrative job with the company after he gets this landfill approved.

    Yes, the company has been producing fly ash and polluting our air for 40 years. Does Commish G mean they have the right to continue?

  • Juanita Carl

    I live in University City, St. Louis county, and I certainly do not want Coal ash extracts with their attendant mercury, lead, arsenic and other organic and inorganic toxins in my drinking water, which comes from the Missouri river. I’m pretty sure that the millions of other people who use this water for drinking and irrigation of crops all the way down the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers would agree. This is a totally stupid proposal.

  • Franklin County Commission Update « Labadie Environmental Organization

    […] ”Commissioner: On Coal Ash, “NIMBY” Doesn’t Cut It” […]

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