Mehlville board should call for swift retirement of Ameren coal plant

To the editor:

As a former member, I am urging the Mehlville Board of Education to adopt a resolution calling for the swift retirement of Ameren Missouri’s Meramec coal plant.

Throughout my career, I have consistently advocated for the health of all St. Louis communities, especially children. I served in the state Legislature and worked as a community health nurse in order to do my utmost to protect the health and welfare of my community members.

Unfortunately, coal pollution causes significant risk to the health of our community, particularly our children. Asthma forces children to miss school by damaging their still-developing lungs. In fact, asthma is the leading cause of emergency room visits for children in St. Louis.

Additionally, when mercury pollution from coal plants enters our lakes and streams, we consume it in our food chain, where it can cause developmental problems in the unborn and young children.

Ameren committed to retire the plant by 2022 when it finally acknowledged the problem — but eight years is too long to procrastinate and endanger our health.

By passing this resolution, the Mehlville Board of Education will protect the children they teach and bequeath a cleaner, healthier environment for the future.

The board must take action now — our children cannot wait eight more years.