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SarahJo and I have been squawking about AmerenUE’s bid to put a 400 acre coal ash landfill on the Missouri River floodplain, just a few miles upstream from the water processing plant for all of North St. Louis County. If it were allowed, it would be travesty on top of mortal sin. And make no mistake about it, Ameren is already guilty of mortal sin, because its Labadie plant, one of the largest coal fired plants in the country, ranks fourth in mercury emissions and eleventh in carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile, the company is sort of not mentioning to people in the metro St. Louis region that they face increased risk of heart attacks, respiratory problems and premature death because they’re breathing air full of toxic particulate matter. I guess the utility figures there’s no percentage in advertising something like voluntary manslaughter. Or is it reckless endangerment? Whatever. I call it a mortal sin.

Ameren could and should meet EPA standards, but it has been in violation of them ever since the Clean Air Act became law, and it has no intention of cleaning up its act. So the Washington University interdisciplinary environmental law clinic, on behalf of the Sierra Club, requested a public hearing on Ameren’s permit renewal. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will conduct that hearing this Thursday evening.

I’ve marveled for years that people quake at the possibility of a terrorist attack and calmly acquiesce to breathing poisoned air. Don’t do it. It’s time to fill that hall and raise a stink.

The time is 7:00, Thursday, Oct. 21st. The place is Labadie Elementary School, 2749 Highway T, Labadie, MO, 63055.