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WHO WE ARE AND WHY WE ORGANIZED
LEO is a grassroots, non-profit, non-partisan citizens group funded by concerned individuals who became aware of AmerenUE's proposal plan to site a 400 acre, 100 foot tall coal combustion waste (CCW) landfill in the floodplain of the Missouri River. We wondered...what is coal combustion waster? Put simply, CCW is what remains after the burning of coal for power. It contains trace amounts of toxic heavy metals (think arsenic, selenium, lead, mercury, thallium, cadmium just to name a few) which do not go away and can contaminate water. Airborne fly ash (called fugitive dust) is hazardous to human health. This information raised enough concern for this group of concerned citizens to form the Labadie Environmental Organization, Now LEO wondered...how could a landfill with potentially hazardous material be sited in the floodplain of the Missouri River? Local residents call this floodplain "the bottoms" giving rise to LEO's "CAMPAIGN TO SAVE OUR BOTTOMS". LEO believes landfills don't belong in the floodplain. Period.

 

WHAT WE DO
One of LEO's goals is to share what we've learned researching AmerenUE's proposed landfill with the public. And we've learned a lot. What we found were multiple issues involving much more than what to do with the residues of coal combustion. Disposal, storage, recycling, and the beneficial reuse of coal ash are an important part of the story. This proposed landfill also brings to light a broad range of issues from zoning at the local level to the over-riding national issue of dirty coal as an energy source. LEO has also learned that land use is at a critical crossroads. River bottoms and farmlands are disappearing. Until AmerenUE purchased this 1100+ acres of bottomland, it was productive farmland. We've learned that the politics and economics of coal, cradle to grave, often overshadow the human and environmental impact of burning coal. LEO connects these varied but inter-relate issues informing the local community and beyond because this is a regional and national issue as well as a local one.

 

SHOULD YOU BE MORE CONCERNED
If Approved by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the proposed landfill will sit on top or an alluvial aquifer in the floodplain of the Missouri River just east of the Labadie power plant. AmerenUE expresses confidence that this landfill will be engineered to protect the environment but cannot provide a guarantee that the Missouri River won't overpower the berm or that the liner will not fail. A 500 year flood or liner failure, whether it occurs in 5 years or 50 years, can compromise the drinking water downstream as well as well water down gradient from the landfill. If municipal trash cannot be stored in a floodplain, how can we allow coal combustion waste, with concentrated levels of trace heavy metals and other toxic constituents, to be stored in such a vulnerable area? How can we assure generations to come that they will have a clean water supply?

 

OUR MISSION
The mission of the Labadie Environmental Organization is to inform and educate the community about the environmental issues impacting health and well-being: to inspire positive change, and to encourage practices for sustainable land use. We believe an engaged community is an unstoppable natural resource and intend to mobolize its power for the betterment or our community and those whose interests are intertwined with ours.

 




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