Ameren Answers Anger Over Clearing Creek Banks of Plants
Utility company says it's required to maintain area around power towers.
After someone posted protest signs on Schoettler Road over the removal of vegetation from the banks of Creve Coeur Creek in Chesterfield near electric power towers, Ameren Missouri indicated Tuesday that the clearing was a proactive measure.
Ameren Missouri spokesman Kent Martin told Chesterfield Patch that Ameren would replant the creek banks with grass, which was more in keeping with the surrounding common ground of Greenleaf Estates subdivision—where the power towers stand by the creek.
"We discussed the need for this work with local municipalities and a subdivision trustee in advance," Martin said in a timely email response to a Chesterfield Patch inquiry, Tuesday.
A number of protest signs blaming Ameren for the destruction of animal habitats by removing the creek banks' foliage appeared along Schoettler Road over the past weekend. The signs were not attributed to any group or anyone.
Martin explained the utility company's reasoning Tuesday.
"The vegetation removed along our right-of-way in the subdivision common ground had several species of vegetation, including bamboo which grows very tall and at a rapid rate," Martin said.
"The vegetation could potentially interfere with power lines during extreme weather, such as winter storms when lines can sag under the accumulation of ice," Martin said.
Ameren took a public relations beating during 2007 ice storms when thousands of customers in the St. Louis area were without electricity for nearly a week after overhanging icey tree limbs took down multiple power lines.
Since that time, Ameren has said it stepped up trimming trees and looking at other potentially problematic scenarios that would knock out power.
"Ameren Missouri must maintain land near our power lines, which is regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in order to provide our customers with safe and reliable energy," Martin said.