ST. LOUIS (AP) – A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling ordering Ameren Missouri to install pollution control equipment at a coal-fired power plant near St. Louis.
Friday’s move could prompt the St. Louis-based utility to spend hundreds of millions on the 1970s Rush Island coal-fired power plant in Jefferson County or to reassess its plans for generating electricity. long-term. If the utility installs the pollution control equipment, customers could see higher tariffs, according to at the Saint-Louis dispatch post.
But the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit rejected part of the previous ruling that asked Ameren to install pollution controls at another coal-fired power plant.
The lawsuit dates back over a decade. The federal government successfully argued in the lawsuit that Ameren’s modifications to the power plant in 2007 and 2010 without proper permits resulted in increased sulfur dioxide emissions because the plant could burn more coal.
Sulfur dioxide is a byproduct of burning coal that can damage the respiratory system. Ameren has pollution control equipment installed in one of its coal-fired power plants, but it relies primarily on burning Wyoming low-sulfur coal to meet pollution regulations.
After the court ruling, the utility stressed that air quality monitors near Rush Island meet federal and state standards.
A spokesperson said Ameren is still evaluating the court’s decision and deciding how to respond, but the utility remains committed to significantly reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
Andy Knott, of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, said he was disappointed Ameren didn’t have to install pollution controls at his other coal-fired power plant. But he said that perhaps the move will prompt the power company to speed up its plan to shut down some of its coal-fired power plants.
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