City of St. Charles files lawsuit against Ameren Missouri over contamination
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The City of St. Charles announced Wednesday that it is filing a lawsuit against Ameren Missouri over the contamination of the Elm Point Wellfield.
St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer made the announcement of the legal action in a press conference Wednesday afternoon. The lawsuit seeks full compensation for all damages and costs associated with the wellfield contamination.
In February, the EPA identified the Ameren Huster Road Substation as the source of contamination in the City of St. Charles’ Elm Point Wellfield, which provides most of the drinking water for St. Charles.
St. Charles launched an independent investigation of the contamination in January.
The City of St. Charles’ full statement is below:
“As you are all aware, we have been dealing with an issue in our well field for quite some time. I have reiterated over and over, and I will say it again today, our top priority at the City of Saint Charles is to ensure the our drinking water is safe for our residents – and we have and will continue to take all steps necessary to ensure this is true. And, through the sole and extensive efforts of the City, it is still true today – our drinking water is safe.
However, this continues to come at a large price tag to the City. We have spent a great deal of money on our efforts to keep our drinking water safe. And now we are currently in the process of spending even more to put into place the treatment components at our water facility necessary to treat the water that Ameren has been found by the EPA to have contaminated.
It is vital to Saint Charles that we are compensated fully for all damages and costs caused by the chemical pollution by Ameren and it’s time for our next action.
As a result, we have retained the law firms of Dowd Bennett LLP and Blitz, Bardgett, & Deutsch, L.C. to aggressively represent the city’s interest in the non-superfund portion of this matter. The law firms will only be compensated for their work upon successful completion of this matter. I have full confidence that these experienced, accomplished local law firms will serve our citizens well.”
Ameren Missouri sent News 4 the following letter and statement:
“We believe our shared goal is to continue protecting the drinking water supply. The best way to do that is to work together, as we recently detailed in a letter to the City of St. Charles where we identify a detailed plan of action moving forward. Ameren Missouri has already implemented several aggressive treatment techniques with additional steps to be taken soon. All work is approved and overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A coordinated, planned and predictable approach will give this work the most efficient path to success. A copy of Ameren’s proposal and communication to the city from earlier this week can be found on our website, AmerenMissouri.com/StCharles.
According to the EPA: ‘St. Charles’ drinking water supply meets the drinking water health standards established by Missouri’s Safe Drinking Water Law and EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act. Water distributed to the public after treatment at the city’s water treatment plant has been sampled regularly for VOCs, including vinyl chloride and DCE, since 2008 and has never shown any level of contamination.’”
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