In 2006, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich heralded
a major environmental compromise with Ameren for which the St. Louis
energy company would spend $1.6 billion to reduce mercury, sulfur
dioxide and nitrogen oxide in their Illinois coal-fired power plants.
Today, environmentalists fear that deal is in jeopardy after the Illinois Pollution Control Board granted Ameren a five-year extension
Thursday for meeting new sulfur dioxide pollution standards. The
company now has until 2020, instead of 2015, to meet the standards
through installing pollution control equipment at their 1,186-megawatt
plant in Newton.
Ameren contended that the double whammy of the
economic downturn and lower electricity rates caused by the rise in
natural gas competitors forced a delay in compliance. Read more »