Environmentalists are concerned that utilities in Missouri may become less accountable for coal ash pollution following the passage of a bill sponsored by Sen. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo.
Coal-fired power plants create a toxic byproduct known as coal ash, or coal combustion residuals. Coal ash contains heavy metals that cause cancer.
The bill requires the state’s Department of Natural Resources to make a plan to regulate waste sites for coal ash, but some are worried about a section that says “risk-based corrective actions” will be taken to clean up contamination.
The bill “allows a company like Ameren, or any other utility in Missouri, to hire a consultant to say there’s no risk with this coal-ash landfill or pond in groundwater,” said Andy Knott, Missouri Sierra Club’s senior campaign representative.
Read more: St. Louis Public Radio