Officials with the Department of Natural Resources hope to see reparations to the Taum Sauk Reservoir move a little faster now that the threat of criminal charges being brought in the case is over.
The dam, which is owned by Ameren – the state’s largest electric utility – gave way in December of 2005. Ameren has indicated a willingness to pay restitution and to rebuild the facility, but would not move forward until Attorney General Jay Nixon removed the threat of criminal action against the company.
Kurt Schaefer, General Counsel and Deputy Director of the State Department of Natural Resources, says Nixon’s decision removes the roadblocks to solving this problem. Schaefer says talks on a civil settlement between the state and Ameren can now move forward. He adds the state would like to see a settlement of about $550-Million, which includes economic compensation for the local community and rebuilding of the upper reservoir in a safe and environmentally sound manner.