ST. CHARLES, Mo. — In a dramatic announcement, the EPA says Ameren is to blame for contamination near St. Charles well fields that supply the city with water. The mayor of St. Charles has been making that argument for months, but Thursday got a huge boost from EPA.

St. Charles has been forced to shut down many of those wells because of contamination.
The question was proving who was responsible, and who has to pay for the cleanup.

The EPA identified Ameren’s Huster Road substation as a source of contamination, including vinyl chloride among other chemicals. The EPA says it sampled the Elm Point Well field between January 17 and 26th to collect groundwater samples from 17 locations.

EPA also said the superfund program operates under the “polluter pays principle.” That’s music to the ears of St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer. He’s been beating that drum since last year. He wants Ameren to pay the $40 million cost of relocating the water wells.

In a statement, Ameren said, “Ameren Missouri remains committed to the safety of citizens in St. Charles. The drinking water in St. Charles is still safe to drink. We also intend to collaborate with the EPA to address groundwater concerns at and near the Huster substation.”