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   Ameren's sale of five Illinois coal-fired power plants to Dynegy, Inc. will likely close next month.  That after the Illinois Pollution Control board on Thursday granted Dynegy permission to defer the installation of multi-million dollar pollution controls for five years.  

   Ameren had agreed to the improvements years ago, but said approval of the environmental variance was a condition of the sale.  

   In a 3-1 vote, state regulators decided that forcing Dynegy to install the soot scrubbers immediately would "impose an arbitrary and unreasonable hardship."  

Published in Local News

   ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says Ameren Corp. can sell five Illinois coal-fired plants to Houston-based Dynegy Inc. - though the deal still hinges on a pollution-control waiver.

   Dynegy spokeswoman Katy Sullivan says the FERC approval came late Friday. She says it was an important milestone, but the sale could unravel unless the company gets approval from the Illinois Pollution Control Board to delay installing soot-control equipment required by state rules.

   St. Louis-based Ameren Corp. already has a five-year waiver after claiming financial hardship. But the Pollution Control Board said it couldn't simply be transferred to Dynegy, which filed for its own.

   Environmental groups say that the pollution-control upgrades are needed and that Dynegy was a willing buyer.

   The Illinois panel is expected to make its decision next month.

 
Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A 140-year-old Illinois prison housing the state's toughest criminals could one day be home to a modern and ecologically friendly power-generator.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers in Illinois reported Friday that Department of Corrections officials are studying whether Menard Correctional Center in southwestern Illinois could be run by waste products from other prisons.

Officials say wood, paper and food waste could be burned to generate about 10 percent of the power used at Menard, a 3,600-inmate prison built in the 1870s that's located about 60 miles southeast of St. Louis.

Jen Aholt is the CEO of Illinois Correctional Industries. She says the industries division could turn the refuse into dried, burnable pellets and transport them to Menard.

Published in Local News

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