Toxic waste seeping from Ameren coal ash pond for two decades

Thursday, September 1, 2011 | 7:50 a.m. CDT; updated 9:31 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 1, 2011

LABADIE — A coal ash pond next to an Ameren Corp. power plant in Labadie has been spilling up to 35 gallons a minute of toxic coal waste for two decades, raising concerns in the eastern Missouri town.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday that state records show the pond has been leaking since 1992. There is no evidence the leak has made its way into groundwater or affected drinking water, but critics said neither the state nor the St. Louis-based company has ever tested the area for contamination.

Renee Bungart of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources said the agency has not monitored the site because the law doesn't require it. Ameren plans to make repairs to the pond but does not think there is an environmental threat.


Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Matthew Schacht September 1, 2011 | 8:28 a.m.

How can a DNR official say there is "no environmental threat" when a coal ash pond is leaking toxic waste?

(Report Comment)
frank christian September 1, 2011 | 8:47 a.m.

Ameren said it.

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger September 1, 2011 | 10:02 a.m.

Actually, Ameren says it "does not think" there's a threat. I'd like to see what DNR's tests reveal, arguably a more reliable assessment.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams September 1, 2011 | 10:26 a.m.

I'd like to know the chemical composition of the spilled water. That means chemical identification and concentrations. I don't like it much when an AP journalist claims something is toxic without presentation of ANY data; I prefer to draw my own conclusions.

This is a VERY poorly-written article totally devoid of information. Indeed, it's journalism at its worst; it MAKES news by calling it toxic without any written basis for doing so.

I'm not claiming the spill is non-toxic. Quite frankly, it probably is to at least some organisms. But I sure object to this kind of journalism. It's lazy. Or manipulative.

Or both.

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.