LABADIE, Mo. (KMOX) – Environmental groups are once again urging state regulators to require better monitoring of coal waste at power plants.

Roughly a month ago the Labadie Environmental Group – known as LEO – and the Sierra Club asked the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to require more testing and reporting of possible groundwater contamination near coal ash ponds at two Ameren facilities.

The groups say so far, they’ve had no response from the agency.

LEO’s Patricia Schuba says it’s critical state officials act now, before the utility is given approval to build new coal waste landfills.

“So the travesty would be, if the state does not require additional information, and proceeds with a permit, and then we find out months if not years later that the ground has been contaminated,” she says.

LEO has been fighting plans to build a new coal ash landfill at the site for years.

Schuba says she’s seen studies submitted to the Missouri Public Service Commission that suggest contamination of groundwater near the Labadie Power Plant.

The groups are also concerned about groundwater integrity at Ameren’s Rush Island Plant.

Schuba says DNR requested quarterly sampling results, but so far nothing has been released to the public.

LEO and the Sierra Club say they believe the agency has the legal authority to investigate.

Ameren has said new coal waste landfills are necessary because existing retention ponds are running out of room.

KMOX News has requested a response from Department of Natural Resources officials.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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