Monday, December 19, 2011

Leaking Coal Ash Site No Threat Says Ameren

By: Duane Craig

Ameren's plan to build a new 400-acre coal ash storage landfill near Labadie, Missouri continues to face opposition, and a new revelation that an existing storage site has been leaking since 1992 isn't helping matters.

Two storage sites leaking 350 gallons of coal ash over 19 years

The two leaks spill about 35 gallons a minute into the environment, or an estimated 350 million gallons over 19 years, according to this report in the Houston Chronicle. That amount of leakage is called small potatoes by a company spokesperson since it routinely releases millions of gallons from its containment ponds into Labadie Creek each day.

Perhaps surprisingly to some, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has known about the leaks since Ameren told it about them 19 years ago but has not been monitoring them. A department spokesperson said the monitoring hasn't been done since it isn't required by law to do so.

Meanwhile, Ameren says there is no environmental threat, but residents are not buying that in light of the number of coal ash sites across the country where heavy metals have contaminated ground water. The report pointed out there are 63 such sites across the country that have been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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