May 18, 2005
Jefferson City, Mo. — AmerenUE will pay the state of Missouri $1.3 million in an agreement with Attorney General Jay Nixon over a fish kill at Bagnell Dam on the Lake of the Ozarks. Approximately 43,000 fish were killed in May and June of 2002 when they were sucked into the dam's turbine generators as AmerenUE released large amounts of water to keep the lake level down after heavy rains.
The consent judgment, which was entered today in Miller County Circuit Court, resolves a lawsuit Nixon filed on behalf of the Missouri Clean Water Commission against AmerenUE in 2003.
"Many of the fish killed by the turbines three years ago were paddlefish stocked in the lake at no small expense by the Missouri Department of Conservation," Nixon said. "This court order and the companion agreements will provide restitution to the state for the fish and require AmerenUE to take significant steps to ensure that this type of fish kill does not occur again."
Under the court order, $1 million will go to the Conservation Commission Fund and the other $300,000 will go to the Natural Resources Protection Fund.
In addition to the money paid to the state, AmerenUE will construct and operate an approved net-like barrier at the dam to prevent fish from being destroyed in the power plant. That is one of the provisions in an agreement between AmerenUE and the Department of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. The agreement, which will be filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, also requires AmerenUE to:
As part of an accompanying settlement agreement between the Attorney General, the Department of Conservation and AmerenUE, the Department of Conservation will dismiss its lawsuit against AmerenUE. That lawsuit also sought compensation for the fish kill.