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Of coal ash and floodplains

To the Editor:

Thank you so much for publishing “Ehlmann calls St. Charles County ‘lucky’ in regard to spring flooding, tornado damage” [Mid Rivers Newsmagazine, May 17]. While St. Charles County was indeed lucky, I am very concerned what future flood events could mean for our region.

As a resident of St. Peters who lives with his wife and children downriver from the Labadie Energy Center, I am very concerned that Ameren stores harmful coal ash waste in the floodplain. We moved to St. Peters because the mayor and the city administrators have put several initiatives in place toward being good stewards of our beautiful planet.

As a parent, I am concerned that coal ash pollutants could seep into the water supply and harm my children. Coal ash contains arsenic and mercury, as well as other toxic metals. If our elected officials would make a commitment to hold Ameren accountable and to move towards 100 percent clean energy, not only would we see a benefit concerning our environmental impact, but we would see a huge impact in the health of our children.

As a taxpayer, I am concerned about the economic impact of a cleanup in the case of future spills from flooding. I hope St. Charles County calls on Ameren to clean up these messes before it is too late. I hope our elected officials will take the lessons learned from the Westlake tragedy and work tirelessly to get toxic materials out of our communities and prevent companies like Ameren from acting irresponsibly.

Kyle Kastraba

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