EPA accepts request for public hearing from St. Charles on water contamination

EPA accepts request for public hearing from St. Charles on water contamination

ST. CHARLES — At the request of city of St. Charles officials, a federal agency will hold a public hearing Thursday on a draft agreement with Ameren Missouri on how to deal with groundwater contamination linked to a power substation. American.

The Environmental Protection Agency session will take place at 6:00 p.m. at Memorial Hall in Blanchette Park.

Meanwhile, the EPA has yet to comment on the city’s related request to change the agreement to require the electric utility to spend about $40 million to relocate wells supplying some of the water. drinking from St. Charles away from contamination.

City officials say its drinking water remains safe to use, but efforts are needed to keep it that way. Since 2005, the city has closed four of its seven wells due to contamination, including two this year. To make up the difference, the city increased its purchases of water from the city of Saint-Louis.

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The EPA also did not respond to the city’s further request to require Ameren to pay for upgrades to the city’s water treatment plant to remove any contaminants. It could cost between $10 million and $20 million, depending on the city.

“We are reviewing the city’s request and will respond” after the public comment period closes Dec. 5, EPA spokesman Curtis Carey said. The proposed EPA-Ameren settlement is pending in the United States District Court.

Ameren officials say the company will continue to work with St. Charles and federal and state agencies on the matter, as it has done for many years.

Mayor Dan Borgmeyer and the city’s director of public works, Nick Galla, said at a news conference Oct. 26 that groundwater samples showed increased contamination over the past year in the city. pit area, which is north of Highway 370, but that the proposed agreement was based on previous information and therefore needs to be revised.

In response, EPA officials say the agreement includes a provision that would allow the agency to require Ameren to perform any additional work that the EPA deems necessary to protect human health and the environment.

Among the issues raised by the city are groundwater levels of a chemical called vinyl chloride, which sampling indicated had increased over the past year.

In addition to the EPA hearing, the city will hold its own public meetings on the issue at 7 p.m. Wednesday and 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Foundry Art Center at 520 North Main Center.

“Eventually all of this will lead to some sort of negotiation or legal action,” said Borgmeyer, the mayor.

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