Missouri is home to twenty-one coal fired power plants, most of which are in vulnerable floodplains and along our nation’s two largest rivers – the Missouri and the Mississippi. These plants produce 2.68 million tons of coal waste per year ranking the state 16th in the nation for the production of coal waste. Many in Missouri are not happy with the way state regulatory agencies are handling this waste.
In December 2014, the federal EPA released coal ash rules which provide guidance and regulatory language for states to adopt and enforce. “Our attention to this issue is critical – now that the federal EPA has left the enforcement of the coal ash rule in our hands. We must get Missouri Department of Natural Resources to adopt the federal guidelines and agree to enforce them in all cases if we are to protect Missouri communities and our valuable water resources. ” says Patricia Schuba of Labadie Environmental Organization. They are one of eleven organizations partnering with Working Films to present a statewide tour of Coal Ash Stories taking place March 12 – 19th.
Coal Ash Stories events will pair four short films with a discussion led by those who have worked on, and are impacted by the issue in Missouri. Rhiannon Fionn, filmmaker and creator of the documentary-in-progress Coal Ash Chronicles, will be at each of the screenings.
One of the films being screened features Joe Grohs of Festus, Missouri (pictured below), commenting on an EPA damage case in Crystal City: “…behind me and beyond the lake used by kids for fishing is 140,000 tons of coal waste that has leached toxins into the lake. After hearings, meetings and lots of talk, they have decided to leave the waste in place. The ash is toxic and now the lake is toxic. This needless situation could have been avoided if the state only monitored utilities and enforced sound regulations.”
If you’re in Columbia, Springfield, Kansas City, Jefferson City, Union, or Kirkwood please join us for Coal Ash Stories and spread the word! Details below:
Columbia Thursday, March 12, 7:30pm: Strickland Hall, Room 113 University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211. Hosted by: Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO), Osage Group/Missouri Sierra Club, Mizzou Energy Action Coalition, Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, and Missourians for Safe Energy
Springfield Sunday March 15, 7pm: Moxie Cinema, 305 S Campbell, Suite 101, Springfield, Missouri 65806 . Hosted by Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO), White River Group/Missouri Sierra Club.
Kansas City Monday, March 16, 7pm: Westport CoffeeHouse , 4010, Pennsylvania Ave. Kansas City, MO 64111. Hosted by Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO), Thomas Hart Benton Group/Missouri Sierra Club, and The Little Blue River Watershed Coalition.
Jefferson City Tuesday, March 17, 7pm: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Jefferson City, 1021 Northeast Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109. Hosted by Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO), Osage Group/Missouri Sierra Club, Show Me Solar, and The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Jefferson City.
Union Wednesday, March 18, 7pm: East Central College, Health and Science Building, Room 100, 1964 Prairie Dell Road, Union, MO 63084. Hosted by Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO), Eastern Missouri Group/Missouri Sierra Club, and the East Central College Green Committee.
Kirkwood Thursday, March 19, 7pm: Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Film Night 335 South Kirkwood Rd, St. Louis, MO 63122. Hosted by Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO), Eastern Missouri Group/Missouri Sierra Club, Franciscan Sister of Our Lady of Perpetual Help