After being delayed for months, formal Public Service Commission hearings for a controversial coal ash landfill project proposed to be built by Ameren in Labadie have been rescheduled.

The formal PSC hearings are now scheduled to take place in Jefferson City March 31-April 2.

The PSC suspended the hearings in October since Ameren was required to submit a revised construction permit application to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The construction permit had to be revised because Franklin County required Ameren to add six additional groundwater monitoring wells into its landfill design.

Ameren is seeking permission from the PSC to expand the boundaries of its Labadie Energy Center to allow for the coal ash landfill.

Many residents spoke out last year against the landfill project during PSC public hearings.

Some said they were worried that the landfill could pose health risks, especially if it contaminated water supplies. Much of the opposition was from a grassroots group called the Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO).

However, Ameren officials defended the project, saying it would be safe, comply with regulations, and have a liner and groundwater monitoring equipment.

Ameren officials say the landfill is needed to provide more coal ash storage space since storage ponds at the site are becoming full.

The coal ash is a byproduct that is created after coal is burned to generate electricity.

The parties that will take part in the formal hearings will include Ameren, the Sierra Club, LEO, the Office of Public Counsel and the PSC staff.

The Office of Public Counsel represents the general public in matters before the commission.

Prior to being rescheduled, the hearings had been delayed twice. They were originally supposed to take place last September.

The first delay happened after Ameren requested more time to rebut statements given during public hearings on the project.