Corps sues Ameren over Taum Sauk disaster

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Three years after the breach of the Taum Sauk reservoir, debris from the disaster continues to damage Clearwater Lake and its natural resources. That's according to a lawsuit filed by the Army Corps of Engineers against AmerenUE.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau seeks unspecified damages against the St. Louis-based Ameren, which operated the Taum Sauk hydroelectric plant where the breach occurred. The corps' Little Rock, Arkansas, district office owns and maintains Clearwater Lake and its dam in Wayne and Reynolds counties. Ameren spokeswoman Susan Gallagher said the utility was not aware of any evidence that sediment from the breach affected the lake.

Ameren operated the plant on Profitt Mountain in southeast Missouri. A breach on Dec. 14, 2005, sent more than 1 billion gallons of water into Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park and the Black River, which feeds Clearwater Lake, a popular southeast Missouri attraction for hunting, fishing and boating. In January, Ameren agreed to a $180 million settlement with the state.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)