Ameren Missouri and the Sierra Club filed a settlement that will require the energy company to establish a $2 million fund for environmentally beneficial projects, including $1 million to incentivize clean electric bus infrastructure in the St. Louis region.
According to the Sierra Club, the settlement resolves legal action taken by the Sierra Club in 2014 to address Ameren’s nearly 8,000 alleged violations of Ameren’s federal Clean Air Act permit at the Labadie, Meramec, and Rush Island coal-fired power plants between 2009 and 2013.
The Sierra Club settled, in part, because Ameren announced a remedy to the most egregious alleged violations by setting its Meramec plant on a path to retirement. Although this is a good step, the Sierra Club says Ameren still has a long way to go.
“Reducing air pollution from diesel buses will improve public health and is a positive step forward for the city of St. Louis,” says Andy Knott, senior campaign representative with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign in Missouri. “Yet, this is small progress compared to what is needed to make our air safe: Ameren transitioning away from dirty coal entirely.”
The Sierra Club urges Ameren to engage with appropriate stakeholders in a meaningful public process to determine how bus electrification can best benefit disenfranchised communities – and further, encourages Ameren to first commit to 50% clean energy by 2030, and then strive for 100% by 2050.