Ameren Engineer Removed Questioned Safety Probes After Taum Sauk

Following are recent headlines from the Taum Sauk disaster:

August 2, 2007
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Ameren engineer testifies that he removed safety probes after Taum Sauk collapse

The so-called Warrick probes were set along the top of the reservoir wall. If water ever touched the probes, they were designed to shut down automatic pumps that filled the reservoir so the giant basin would not overflow. Pierie said the probes had been raised so high that water never touched them the morning of Dec. 14, 2005, when the basin overflowed and caused a huge portion of the earthen wall to give way, devastating Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park.

July 24, 2007
Taum Sauk Hearings

Six Ameren employees, including a company vice president, were expected to testify. None actually did because the lead witness used all of the alloted time. Instead, engineer Jim Alexander with the Department of Natural Resources was the only person to testify.

July 20, 2007
St. Louis Post Dispatch
(Taum Sauk) Report: Highway Patrol urged to criticize Jay Nixon

Public records suggest that Gov. Matt Blunt’s staff urged the Missouri Highway Patrol to issue a statement criticizing Blunt’s political rival, Democratic Attorney General Jay Nixon, over his handling of a dam collapse at Taum Sauk reservoir.

The documents, also obtained Thursday by the Post-Dispatch through an open records request, retrace how members of Blunt’s administration urged the patrol to issue a statement June 7 criticizing Nixon for not filing criminal charges in the reservoir collapse. The December 2005 incident ravaged the Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, injuring the park superintendent and his family. The reservoir is owned by Ameren Corp.

Nixon decided not to file criminal charges after the Highway Patrol’s investigation concluded that there “is no suspect in this investigation, at this point in time.”

July 3, 2007
Kansas City Star

EPA investigating Taum Sauk reservoir failure

June 29, 2007

CEO Thomas Voss says the company would station someone at the reservoir around-the-clock if it is required. But he’s not sure that action would be useful and says it would not have made any difference in December of 2005. He says there is no single place on the upper reservoir to see the entire wall.

AmerenUE attorney questions role of politics in Taum Sauk inquiry Kansas City Star, MO – Jul 24, 2007 By TIM HOOVER JEFFERSON CITY | The specter of politics hung over a Public Service Commission inquiry on Tuesday into the 2005 collapse of the Taum Sauk

Engineer: Ameren Repeatedly Denied Taum Sauk Repair Request MyFox Saint Louis, MO – Jul 25, 2007 (AP) — An Ameren Corp. engineer testified Wednesday that he tried day after day to get approval to fix water level sensors at the Taum Sauk reservoir but

Environmental groups criticize plan to rebuild Taum Sauk Kansas City Star, MO – Jul 11, 2007 s plan to rebuild the Taum Sauk reservoir in public comments submitted to federal regulators this week. The comments were filed Monday and Tuesday with the

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