Labadie group appeals order enabling coal ash landfill

2013-02-15T15:33:00Z 2014-10-24T14:24:17Z Labadie group appeals order enabling coal ash landfillBY JEFFREY TOMICH 314-340-8320

Opponents of Ameren Missouri's proposed coal ash landfill next to its Labadie power plant are appealing a court order allowing the project to move forward.

A circuit court judge last month ruled that the Franklin County Commission acted lawfully when it approved a zoning amendment enabling development of the landfill. St. Louis-based Ameren has since filed with the Department of Natural Resources for a permit to build the landfill. 

Friday's appeal by the Labadie Environmental Organization and a group of the plant's neighbors raises the same challenges as their original lawsuit. They say the commission's decision is invalid because discussion of the Ameren project wasn't allowed during a public hearing, and that the the project doesn't "promote the health, safety and general welfare" of residents.

Ameren is seeking to build the 400-acre coal waste landfill just east of the Labadie plant in the Missouri River floodway.

The utility insists the facility will be safe, with ash stored dry, in cells, and protected by a system of liners and a perimeter berm.

But opponents cite the potential contamination of groundwater and the Missouri River, which provides drinking water to thousands of people downstream. 

Jeffrey Tomich covers energy and the environment for the Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @jefftomich.

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