House Concurrent Resolution No. 35




            WHEREAS, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has repeatedly delayed issuing regulations on coal combustion waste; and

            WHEREAS, coal combustion waste, or coal ash, contains carcinogenic and neurotoxic chemicals such as mercury, arsenic, cadmium, lead, hexavalent chromium, and other heavy metals that have been proven to harm human health; and

            WHEREAS, ponds containing coal ash often leak these pollutants into the groundwater, as evidenced by documentation of contamination in other states, including Illinois; and

            WHEREAS, coal waste ponds at the Labadie Power Plant in Franklin County were known by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to be leaking 50,000 gallons per day since 1992. Ameren has only recently claimed to address those known leaks, and no groundwater monitoring has occurred or is occurring even though everyone for miles around the site in Franklin County relies on groundwater for drinking water; and

            WHEREAS, the State of Missouri currently does not require any groundwater testing at these coal ash ponds, so that the extent of any danger to the public health cannot be determined; and

            WHEREAS, there are at least 32 coal ash ponds scattered across the State of Missouri, including in Jasper, Jackson, Platte, Franklin, Buchanan, St. Louis, New Madrid, Henry, Jefferson, Scott, St. Charles, and Randolph Counties; and

            WHEREAS, utilities generate 2.6 million tons of coal ash in Missouri every year; and

            WHEREAS, in 2011, utility shareholders across the nation voted in high percentages to ask companies for stricter controls and monitoring of coal combustion waste; and

            WHEREAS, concern by utility shareholders reflects the general concern of the nation after the 2008 TVA coal ash spill and the 2011 Wisconsin spill, both of which resulted in property damage and expensive cleanup; and

            WHEREAS, a report released by Earthjustice in August 2011 listed Missouri as one of the weakest states in the country for regulating coal combustion waste:

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-sixth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby urge the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, in issuing water pollution discharge permits for conventional coal-fueled electric generating units and consistent with otherwise applicable laws, to fully consider:

            (1) The need to require groundwater monitoring immediately at all new and existing coal ash ponds in the State of Missouri;

            (2) The need to require cleanup at all coal ash ponds that are found to be leaking dangerous chemicals; and

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution does not amend any state law to which the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is subject, and shall be interpreted to be consistent with any requirements of such state or federal laws; and

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare properly inscribed copies of this resolution for Governor Jay Nixon and Sara Parker Pauley, the Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.