Labadie Power Plant

View of the Labadie Power Plant from Augusta Bottoms

Ameren Missouri is embarking on a project to upgrade the pollution control devices at its Labadie coal-fired power plant.

The county in January issued the company a building permit that values the project at $75 million.

Ameren spokesman Kent Martin said the project is part of the company’s compliance plan for the new federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Compliance with the standards is required by 2016, he said, adding that the new regulations were finalized in 2012.

The project at the Labadie plant “will enhance the removal of particles from the flue gas before its release,” Martin said.

He said a contractor for the project has not been chosen, and therefore it is hard to say what the work time line will be and how many workers will be involved.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards are “the first ever national limits on mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants.”

The EPA’s website states that the new standards “will improve people’s health by requiring power plants that contribute to air pollution in Missouri to use widely available, proven pollution control technologies to protect families from pollutants like mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel and acid gases. These new standards will prevent up to 410 premature deaths in Missouri while creating up to $3.4 billion in health benefits in 2016.”