Bartonville coal plant operaters sued over alleged particle pollution

By WEEK Producer

April 18, 2013 Updated Apr 18, 2013 at 9:52 PM CDT

Peoria, Ill -- Ameran Energy Resources is being sued amidst accusations of more than 1,000 violations of the Federal Clean Air Act.

The suit has been filed by four community groups.

They allege that Ameren's E.D. Edwards coal-fired power plant in Bartonville emits particle pollution, based on opacity levels.

The plaintiffs held a news conference today, saying the pollution has contributed to multiple asthma problems around the plant with some causing premature death.

Robin Garlish of Bartonville says her daughter struggles with chronic bronchial asthma every day.

"We're wondering if it will even be safe for our family to go outdoors and enjoy bicycle riding,” Garlish says. “We have a ski boat, we have a lot of friends and do our water sports. I'm afraid to take us out to do these things at this point."

The plant is owned and operated by Ameren Energy Resources, not Ameren Illinois.

According to a statement from an Ameren representative, "We report all of our emissions as required to Illinois Environmental Protection Agency; to further note, the agency has not cited Edwards for opacity or permit violations."