ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – (UPDATED 4:10 p.m.) Ameren Missouri battles the EPA in a St. Louis federal court today over whether it violated the Clean Air Act at its Rush Island coal-fired power plant south of Festus.

The EPA claims Ameren violated the Clean Air Act by making $30 million improvements to boilers that spew sulfur dioxide at the plant, without the necessary legal permits.

The boilers increase capacity, the government argues, and that increases pollution — sulfur dioxide, which can cause acid rain.

But Ameren’s Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs Tom Byrne says that is not true. He says Ameren intends to prove their projects in 2007 and 2010 did not cause an emissions increase.

“We absolutely did not violate the Clean Air Act. There was no increase; what the modeling showed was no increase in emissions due to the replacements we made at that time,” Byrne says.

Ameren is calling it routine maintenance, which does not require permits.

If Ameren loses this case, it could be forced to install more expensive pollution controls at the Rush Island plant and give up its already-banked pollution credits.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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