Flood near coal-fired power plant raises concerns about water co - KMOV.com

Flood near coal-fired power plant raises concerns about water contamination

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The Ameren coal-fired plant in Labadie. Credit: KMOV The Ameren coal-fired plant in Labadie. Credit: KMOV

There are concerns that chemicals from a coal-fired power plant could be getting into the water supply in Labadie, Mo.

The Labadie Environmental Organization is concerned that coal ash is seeping into ground water near Ameren’s plant on the Missouri River. Nearby there is a dry landfill that stores coal ash, which is protected by a liner. Nearby, ponds on the Ameren property hold more coal ash.

“We’re concerned about the integrity of the landfill sitting in this environment as well as the ponds that are steeping into the river water,” said Patricia Schuba with the Labadie Environmental Organization.

Schuba cites ground water tests which indicate elevated levels of boron, sulfate and arsenic. Those tests are conducted by Ameren and are turned over to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

“We have proof that these pollutants are in the ground water,” said Schuba.

Schuba worries that contaminants are being leached from coal ponds into groundwater and could ultimately mix with flood water, and then drinking water used by hundreds of thousands of people.

“There’s no concern at all. We have an independent expert look at the impact on operations and drinking water. There is no adverse impact to any health issues. We have had it all tested,” said Ajay Arora, Vice President of Environmental Services.

Arora says more testing will be conducted and future data will be released on Ameren’s website.

Missouri American Water said drinking water was tested for boron and sulfate before the floods and no issues were found.

Tests for arsenic were done following flooding in December 2015 but nothing of concern was found.

Schuba said she hopes the ash is moved to a place that isn’t in danger of flooding. However, Ameren said it feels the current location is safe and will do a full inspection after the water recedes.

News 4 has repeatedly tried to contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources but has not heard back.

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