Another Hearing May Be Held On Proposed Coal Ash Landfill - The Missourian: Local News

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Another Hearing May Be Held On Proposed Coal Ash Landfill

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Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 11:30 am

A hearing on a proposed coal ash landfill had so much public outcry that not everyone testified last week.

Therefore, the Missouri Public Service Commission may hold another public hearing so more people can voice their opinions on the landfill planned for Labadie.

Missouri PSC spokesman Greg Ochoa said the PSC plans to come back for another hearing, but a date has not been set.

Ameren spokesman Kent Martin said it is up to the PSC whether there should be another hearing. Whatever the PSC decides, Ameren will go along with, Martin added.

The PSC is a state agency that regulates investor-owned utilities.

About 20 residents spoke out against the landfill last week, expressing concerns about the landfill’s potential impact on health and the environment.

They say that the landfill would be built in a floodplain and floodway of the Missouri River and therefore pose a risk to drinking water.

Ameren officials say the landfill would be safe with groundwater monitoring wells and liners.

Ameren is seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the PSC to expand the boundaries of the Labadie Energy Center for the landfill.

The hearing ran almost to midnight, and many people left because it went so late.

Some of the people who spoke out against the proposed landfill were with the Labadie Environmental Organization.

LEO President Patricia Schuba said it was also reported that some people were turned away from the hearing at East Central College because the parking lot was full.

Schuba said LEO is being respectful and waiting for the PSC to announce a second hearing date.

It is LEO’s understanding that the PSC will set another hearing date, but if that does not happen, LEO may formally request one, Schuba said.

LEO wants another hearing, Schuba said.

She noted that there is still adequate time to hold another public hearing since formal evidentiary hearings are not scheduled to take place until Sept. 23-25.

Schuba added that she thinks the PSC has shown interest in hearing from the public about the landfill.

Schuba said that she thinks it’s possible that the PSC will deny Ameren’s request, but she could not predict how likely it is that will happen. Citizens are giving the PSC every reason to ask Ameren to look at alternative sites for the landfill, Schuba said.

She said, “We are hoping our government reflects our values.”

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