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The Sierra Club Hosts A HAZMAT Beauty Contest

Tuesday's "toxic" swimsuit competition along the St. Louis riverfront coincides with a Sierra Club report that highlights coal pollution in public waters, and asks for stronger laws on what coal plants can emit.

Ameren Missouri's Meramec and Sioux plants were crowned "Mister and Miss Toxic Water" by members of the Missouri Sierra Club on Tuesday. The group's mock beauty pageant (which included a HAZMAT swimsuit competition) coincides with the release of a report from the Sierra Club, Environmental Justice and Environmental Integrity Project that highlights coal pollution in public waterways.

Sixteen out of 18 Missouri coal plants have no limits on what they can dump into waters, including mercury, arsenic and lead, according to Missouri Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign organizer Sara Edgar. The Labadie plant was recognized as one of the worst toxic polluters in the country, she said.

Sierra Club members want to see updated, stronger laws controlling what coal plants can emit.

The beauty pageant, which was held on the Missouri riverfront near the Gateway Arch, is representative of their plight. 

"You wouldn't be able to have a regular swimsuit competition here," Edgar said.

Learn more about the report's findings on Patch.

According to Ameren, "the evidence does not support claims regarding pollution in Missouri waterways, and there is no threat to public health."

"We meet and in fact operate well below all applicable state and federal water effluent limitations that are fully protective of health. Ameren has a strong environmental compliance program, and we take this commitment very seriously. We are confident we will be able to comply with the effluent guidelines that are expected to come from the EPA," the company said in a statement.  
NoCoalAshLandfillInOakville July 23, 2013 at 07:59 PM
Petition for air and groundwater monitoring. http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-our-air-and-water
Karlie Baker (Editor) July 23, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Thanks for adding the link! Tomorrow we'll have some additional video and more details on the report.

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