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Ameren Illinois Joins Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program
Company Partners with U.S. EPA, Other Utilities to Voluntarily Reduce Natural Gas Emissions

COLLINSVILLE, Ill., March 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Illinois today reaffirmed its commitment to take steps to reduce methane emissions, a component in natural gas, and improve environmental sustainability by joining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program.

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Through the Methane Challenge program, oil and gas companies will be able to voluntarily make and track commitments to reduce emissions and improve air quality. The program launched Wednesday during an event at the Global Methane Forum being held in Washington, DC.

"Ameren Illinois is making investments now to ensure a cleaner and more sustainable environment for future generations," said Richard J. Mark, president of Ameren Illinois. "The Methane Challenge is another means to demonstrate our ongoing commitment toward sustainability while strengthening the integrity of the gas system."

As part of the Methane Challenge, Ameren Illinois has volunteered to conduct analysis to identify process improvements to further reduce excavation damage toward improved system integrity and reduced methane emissions.  The program includes reporting specific data elements on excavation damage to the EPA and the voluntary actions the company is taking to achieve its reduction goals.   

Ameren Illinois is already taking a number of steps to reduce methane emissions and improve the integrity and reliability of its natural gas system. The company is in its third year of a multi-year program to upgrade its aging infrastructure. Under the program, Ameren Illinois is replacing natural gas transmission and distribution mains and services, pressure control equipment, unprotected steel service lines, and difficult to locate service lines, among other activities.

In addition, in 2015, the company continued its excavation damage prevention program to reduce the number of third party excavator damages, and as a result, reduce the amount of methane released due to facility damage. 

For more information on the Methane Challenge, visit the U.S. EPA's Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program website.

About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers in Illinois. Our mission is to power the quality of life. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com, find us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois or Facebook.

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SOURCE Ameren Illinois

For further information: Media contacts: Stacey Shangraw, 309-677-5073, sstockton-shangraw@ameren.com, Brian Bretsch, 618-343-8087, bbretsch@ameren.com, Marcelyn Love, 217-535-5116, mlove@ameren.com