Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts tagged Coal Ash

We have another chance to make statements to the Public Service Commission! Here’s today’s  email notice from PSC:

From: psc-releases-bounces@lists.mo.gov [mailto:psc-releases-bounces@lists.mo.gov] On Behalf Of Ochoa, Gregg
Sent: Wednesday, July 03, 2013 10:46 AM
To: psc-releases@lists.mo.gov
Subject: [Psc-releases] MEDIA ADVISORY — PSC To Hold Local Public Hearing In Washington In Ameren Missouri Case

Missouri Public Service Commission
Governor Office Building
200 Madison Street
PO Box 360
Jefferson City, Mo. 65102-0360
573-751-9300
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MissouriPSC

JEFFERSON CITY—The Missouri Public Service Commission will hold a local public hearing in Washington on July 10 in a certificate of convenience and necessity case filed by Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri. The local public hearing schedule appears below.

July 10—Washington. Knights of Columbus Hall, Lower Level, 1121 Columbus Lane. The local public hearing will begin at 5:00 p.m. with the taking of testimony from the public.

In January, Ameren Missouri filed an application with the Missouri Public Service Commission seeking a certificate of convenience and necessity from the Commission to expand the boundaries of its Labadie Energy Center to permit the construction and operation of a utility waste landfill. Ameren Missouri has asked the Commission to approve its application by December 31, 2013, to allow it to begin construction of the landfill in 2014.

The Commission held a local public hearing in this case on June 25, 2013 in Union. Attendance at the hearing was heavy and many interested persons were unable to testify. Therefore, the Commission is scheduling a second local public hearing on July 10 in Washington to give more people an opportunity to testify.

This local public hearing will be held in a facility which meets the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any person who needs additional accommodations to participate in the local public hearing should call the Public Service Commission’s hotline at 1-800-392-4211 (voice) or Relay Missouri at 711 before the hearing.
-30-
Case No. EA-2012-0281

BE in Union at the Scenic Regional Library (308 Hawthorne Drive) from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. TODAY!  PLEASE…see below, original email

invitation at end of this post:

 

I think it would be a good follow up to the June 29 PSC hearing and to keep

Claire’s feet to the fire. She has to have MO contacts to help stop the Labadie travesty

IF she chose.

 

[ a little jingle I've fantasized about any McCaskill demo we might stage some day:

Claire, Claire

We want clean air.

We won't get out of your hair

Until we get what's fair. ]

 

 

Begin forwarded message:

 

From: “Brendan Fahey – St. Louis Office of Senator Claire McCaskill” <senator@mccaskill.senate.gov>

Subject: “Kitchen Table Talk” in Franklin County Hosted by the Office of U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill

Date: June 24, 2013 3:00:20 PM CDT

To: lloydk@klinedinst.com

Return-Path: <senator@mccaskill.senate.gov>

Dear Mr. Klinedinst,

My name is Brendan Fahey and I am a staff member for U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill. On Tuesday, July 2, 2013, on behalf of the Senator, I will be hosting a “Kitchen Table Talk” in Union at the Scenic Regional Library (308 Hawthorne Drive) from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to reach out to you, to listen to your thoughts and ideas about federal policies and legislation and to take them back to the Senator.

These “Kitchen Table Talks” also serve, in part, to inform you of the services that are available through Senator McCaskill’s regional offices. The Senator’s staff throughout the state are able to assist you on a range of federal government issues. If you are currently having an issue with a federal agency, I will be happy to discuss that with you and put you in touch with the member of the Senator’s staff best suited to help with your issue.

Should you have any questions, please contact me at Brendan_Fahey@mccaskill.senate.govor by calling (314) 367-1364. I hope you will be able to join me in Union on July 2nd.

Sincerely,

Brendan Fahey

Field Representative

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill

To unsubscribe from further communication, please visit the unsubscribe page here:http://mccaskill.senate.gov/?p=newsletter_unsub.

It all comes down to this. 

 
Hello LEO Suppoyrers. It seems our 3 year local fight to stop the coal ash landfill regulations from clearing the way for Ameren is about to hit a landmark date. THIS FRIDAY MORNING A CIRCUIT JUDGE WILL DECIDE IF THE FRANKLIN COUNTY COMMISSION UTILITY LANDFILL REGULATIONS ARE VALID. Please consider attending.
FranklinCountyCourt-03Franklin County Court Building in which final arguments and likely judgement will be heard.Location:  Corner of Main Street and Church Street – Union, MO 63084
               1 block north of the Franklin County Government Center
               and across the street from Elmer’s BarTime:        9 a.m. on Friday January 11th, 2013
Room:       Judge Schollmeyer’s Court Rm – likely upstairs

Thank you for your support and input as LEO continues to fight the siting of a toxic coal ash landfill in the floodplain of the Missouri River in Franklin County. We have maintained that this material should never be stored in a floodplain and in proximity to drinking water. We will keep you posted on next steps. Even if LEO wins this stage of the legal fight…there will be an appeal to a higher court.If you can, please take this time to donate to LEO’s ongoing legal and political efforts to stop the landfill at the LEO website www.LEOenvironmental.org. Larger donations, please contact Patricia at prsmail@gmail.com. Your previous generosity helped LEO highlight the issues in the media and pay for experts for County hearings and comments to state regulators. Without you, we could not have made the progress that we did on this issue.If you would like to serve as an officer or volunteer, please contact Patricia at prsmail@gmail.comThe LEO Board serves the community as a nonprofit in the State of Missouri. Any questions or suggestions can be directed to Patricia Schuba prsmail@gmail.com…and are welcome.

May we all enjoy a safe and prosperous 2013. May justice and sound policy prevail as we enter the next phase of fighting to protect our property, communities and families.

Warm regards,
Patricia Schuba
LEO President of LEO Board of Directors

www.LEOenvironmental.org

Had the most unbelievable conversation with 2nd District Commissioner Ann Schroeder at Robller Winery yesterday. She told me the commission’s decision to take up amending the county’s landfill use regulations had nothing to do with Ameren’s interest in building a 400-acre coal ash landfill in Labadie Bottoms. It was just an unfortunate coincidence that the utility’s plans became public at the same time they were deliberating on this issue.

I have no doubt that Schroeder is sincere in her recollection of this timeline. The public record may even show that the land use amendment was on the agenda before reports of Ameren’s plans became public. I don’t know. But if there is no connection between the commission’s actions and Ameren’s proposed landfill then why does the amendment they wrote go to such great lengths to define coal ash waste storage? If the land use regulations have no connection to the landfill project why did Ameren legal have such a huge presence at all of the public hearings on this particular issue? If it’s just a coincidence why did so much of the discussion revolve around how high to build the levy around the very landfill Ameren is coincidentally proposing? And why did Ameren’s lawyers court the two commissioners who eventually ended up voting yes instead of Ann who voted no? It’s a ridiculous assertion. It may have started out not having anything to do with Ameren, but it sure as hell didn’t end that way.

continue reading…

Click here to view the beautiful Labadie Bottoms in Franklin County. Take a good look because soon Ameren will be destroying this floodplain, alive with wetlands critters, birds, and the magic of nature’s cleansing power.

On Tuesday, three county  commissioners decided to change the planning and zoning regulations to allow a toxic coal ash dump in the Missouri River floodplain. This has been a two-year struggle by well-informed, educated, powerfully professional citizens to stop an incredibly stupid plan by Ameren Missouri.

Ameren is a “power” company in more ways than one. They have absolutely no good arguments for what they want to do.  It’s just the cheapest (for them) and easiest solution to their waste disposal problem. They lied about having done a five-year study looking at alternative sites. When forced to produce such a study, they fumbled all over themselves with excuses. There was no study of alternative sites, and when local citizens gave them suggestions for alternative uses for the coal ash, they didn’t even bother to follow up on those ideas. Neither did the commissioners.

The fix was in from the beginning. (And I include the one “no” vote because that commissioner did nothing publicly to change the outcome. Ann Schroeder passively voted “yes” by her silence.)

I’m bumping up this piece from May 25, 2010. It still blows my mind that the county’s own research shows Ameren is responsible for most of the county’s pollution and here they sit, poised to allow them to pollute us even more. Amazing. It would be different if they were ignorant of the facts. But the commissioners have the information on file down the hall in the Planning and Zoning Department.

On May 17th, 2010 the Franklin County Planning and Zoning Dept. held the first in its series of open houses to discuss existing conditions in the county and to get ideas and concerns from the public. The presentation provided lots of statistics but one section in particular stood out for me. From the PowerPoint presentation we learn …

Other Pollution:

  • Franklin County ranked #5 in Missouri (2007) for total toxic chemicals disposed of or released
  • 93.7% of toxic chemicals came from Ameren power plant in Labadie
  • Majority is solid waste stored onsite
  • > 1/3 waste comes from air emissions (hydrochloric acid, hydrogen fluoride, sulfuric acid, metal compounds (e.g., mercury)

continue reading…

The TRAIN Act: A train wreck for cleaner, healthier air:

Consider just one of the clean air standards in danger because of the TRAIN Act – the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard.

  • It has been more than 20 years since the overwhelmingly bipartisan passage of the 1990 Clean Air Act, which set the stage for the EPA to limit mercury, acid gases, and other hazardous pollution from America’s coal-fired power plants.
  • Opponents still claim they need more time to prepare for this rule, even though they have had more than 20 years.
  • They claim they can’t meet the pollution standards even though the technology is widely available, and even though 17 states already require their coal plants to limit mercury emissions.
  • They claim this rule will hurt the economy even though economic analysis finds that for every $1 spent to clean up toxic air pollution the public receives up to $13 in public health and other benefits.

Supporters of the TRAIN Act claim to be helping our economy. But the TRAIN Act delays critical human health safeguards that will provide hundreds of billions of dollars in public health benefits to Americans each year.

The roll call is instructive:

Ayes Noes PRES NV
Republican 230 4 7
Democratic 19 165 8
Independent
TOTALS 249 169   15

This is what drives me a little nuts about LEO. Don’t get me wrong, I love these folks and I’m glad to see so many self-identified Republicans involved in the fight to stop the coal ash landfill in the Labadie Bottoms floodplain. But after the landfill issue has been decided are they going to go back to voting for Republicans? Are they only involved because this time it happens to be in their backyard?

I appreciate that the founders of LEO went to great lengths to make the coal ash landfill a non-partisan issue. That’s the way it should be because we all breathe the same air. In fact, that’s the way it use to be decades ago as evidenced by the passage of the Clean Air Act. But those days are long gone. As the numbers above show (and they are not unique when it comes to coal) today it is very much a partisan issue.

Bottom line: When you vote for Republicans you are voting against your environment, your health, and your safety, or someone else’s.

This is hilarious (and kind of sad). Despite The Washington Missourian’s best efforts to give the county commissioners some cover for their votes that will soon be cast to allow Ameren Missouri to build what I like to call “The John Griesheimer Toxic Coal Ash Waste Dump,” their latest poll indicates public opinion has actually gotten much worse since last fall.

As of July 18, 2011

At a time when it’s hard to get people to agree on much of anything, that’s a pretty solid consensus. The only other poll I am aware of on this issue was conducted by Rep. Scott Dieckhaus in October 2010.

Question 11: Should Ameren be permitted to proceed with its plans to develop a landfill to store coal ash on its property near the Labadie power plant if done in accordance with federal, state, and county regulations?

Yes: 40.1%
No: 47.8%
No Opinion: 9.4%
No Response: 2.7%

Despite the ridiculously weighted question (note the qualifiers, “on its property” and “if done in accordance with“) Dieckhaus couldn’t even get a plurality in his mostly conservative district to answer yes.

Griesheimer and the other county commissioners are out there on their own with this one. Franklin Countians hate the idea of putting toxic waste in a floodplain and understand whose bread is being buttered here. The good ole boys club should stop hoping some measure of popular support for it will magically appear to save them. There isn’t any. Should it come to pass, The Griesheimer Landfill will stand as yet another reminder of how the demands of the people are obstructed by the whims of industry, power, money and influence.

Back in April 2009, just after the grassroots citizens group known as Citizens to Preserve Government Integrity (CPGI) effectively defeated charter government in Franklin County, news reports in the local paper started to emerge about a plan by Ameren to construct a large coal ash landfill in the Labadie Bottoms floodplain. The news came on the heels of the disastrous Tennessee Valley Authority’s storage pond breach in Harriman, Tenn. in Dec. 2008, which flooding hundreds of acres with a toxic slurry of ash.

I posted this on our old blog April 28, 2009 in response …

AmerenUE wants to start building its “utility waste landfill” in Franklin County, upstream from millions of St. Louis County businesses and residents in 2012. They hope to have it operational in 2013 or 2014. And it probably will be unless citizens put an end to this incredibly bone-headed idea. Remember, there is no such thing as “clean coal.”

Little did I know that a small book club in Labadie was talking about the same thing at their regular meeting. But instead of just writing about it they acted to form The Labadie Environmental Organization, or LEO. CPGI’s success in halting charter government convinced me that citizens acting together locally can make a difference and since then LEO has only reinforced that belief in me. LEO has made a huge difference in educating the public and elected officials on the hazards of coal ash. But Ameren is a much more powerful and well-funded target than the proponents of charter government were and the fight is not over.

This Wednesday, July 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 pm in the County Commission Chambers, the county commissioners are supposed to make public the changes to the zoning code that may allow Ameren’s toxic coal ash landfill in the Missouri River floodway. After this it becomes a legal matter for the courts to hash out so this meeting will likely be the last chance to demonstrate your opposition to the landfill.

Although no public comment will be allowed directly, a large turnout would make a powerful comment all its own. It will tell the commissioners the opposition isn’t going away, that people still care. And when that flood that no one could have ever predicted brings disaster to our area the consequences of their actions will be their legacy.

We will not forget.

I’ve been hearing murmurs from opponents of the coal ash landfill in the Labadie Bottoms floodplain that converting the Labadie plant to natural gas might be a cleaner, more viable option to coal. They may want to watch the independent documentary Gasland before continuing that line of thinking.

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