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Ameren plans cleanup of downtown Columbia site

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) β€” Ameren Missouri is preparing to clean up contaminated property it owns that is part of a burgeoning commercial and residential development district in downtown Columbia.

The property in the North Village Arts District was contaminated with gas plant tars, which can contain carcinogens, by a former manufactured gas plant that operated there, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1emmCUW).

Ameren plans to remove 36,000 tons of contaminated soil but is still looking for a place outside Columbia to dump the soil, said Mike Holman, Ameren’s manager for gas operations in Missouri.

According to a fact sheet on the proposed cleanup, Ameren will build a temporary structure at the site to cover the excavation of contaminated soil. Holman said the tent will start going up next month. Ameren will move employees and equipment currently housed at the site to its new training center at Concorde Industrial Park starting this weekend.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources will oversee the project.

In 1994, Ameren β€” then called Union Electric β€” paid $2.5 million to clean the site, but the work did not remove the contaminants from the soil.

Holman said the latest cleanup likely will take about a year, and Ameren will sell the property when the work is finished.

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