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AmerenUE Strongly Disputes Today's Statement From Missouri Highway Patrol

Susan Gallagher      Tim Fox
(314) 554-2175       (314) 554-3120

AmerenUE reported today that the company in May 2006 provided the Missouri Highway Patrol with the names of the individuals who moved probes at Taum Sauk Plant after the reservoir breach in 2005. 

This directly contradicts a statement released today by the Missouri Highway Patrol. 

“We released the names of these individuals to the patrol more than a year ago,” says Thomas R. Voss, AmerenUE president and chief executive officer. “Let me repeat that AmerenUE has fully complied with all investigations on this matter, including the Missouri Highway Patrol investigation. We discussed this with the patrol today. Lt. Col. Richard Coffey, of the Missouri Highway Patrol, agreed that we have fully cooperated and provided all the information the investigators requested.” 

While the company is not publicly releasing the names of employees and/or contractors who moved probes, the company did provide those names more than a year ago to the highway patrol in a letter dated May 23, 2006. In response to the statement issued today by Col. James F. Keathley, superintendent of the patrol, the company has sent Col. Keathley another copy of that correspondence. 

Voss emphasized that the probes were moved as part of the company’s initial efforts to determine what caused the breach. There was no criminal tampering with evidence before or after the incident. 

AmerenUE is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. Ameren companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois. 

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Built in 1963, AmerenUE’s Taum Sauk is a “pumped-storage” hydroelectric plant. It stored water from the Black River in an upper reservoir, built atop 1,590-foot-high Proffit Mountain, and released the water to generate electricity when power was needed. The water flowed down a mile-long tunnel inside the mountain, turning turbine-generators to produce electricity. When power demand was low, the same turbines ran in reverse to pump water back to the upper reservoir. 

On December 14, 2005, the AmerenUE Taum Sauk Plant experienced a breach in its 1.5 billion-gallon upper reservoir that caused flooding in the Johnson’s Shut-Ins area.