A group of environmental activists rallied outside of Ameren’s shareholder meeting at the Peoria Civic Center.
They were led by the Sierra Club’s Andy Knott, calling on shareholders to support a resolution that requires the company to disclose the impact of coal ash waste.
“Coal fire power plants generate toxic coal ash and at many places, including Ameren, this ash is causing ground water contamination,” Knott said.
The shareholders voted Thursday to support a resolution, introduced by the Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, requiring Ameren to disclose the impact of coal ash waste on the company and community in both Illinois and Missouri.
The decision pleased water resource engineer Andrew Rehn, who was at the protest.
“The country is waking up to the dangers of coal ash and with that awareness comes the need for coal ash owners to do the right thing and properly clean up their ash,” said Rehn, who is from the Prairie Rivers Network.
Previously owned by Ameren, Rehn says the local Edwards power plant failed to commit to a transition plan that includes worker support or site clean-up. The plant is now owned by Dynegy.
“When these coal-ash pits become saturated, the contaminants leach into ground water, which can then spread to service water or drinking water wells,” Rehn said.
Knott said the state and federal coal ash standards are weak.