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Eastern Missouri Group E-Newsletter

JULY 2013

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Olympia Kebob House and Taverna.jpg
Olympia Kebab House

July 25, 2013, Sierra Club General Meeting - Social Gathering
The July meeting will be a social gathering at Olympia Kebab House on July 25, at 6:30 p.m.  No registration required, but please contact Mark Ostendorf (417-850-0064) if you have questions. Location: 1543 McCausland Ave.  A private room has been reserved.

August 22, 2013, Sierra Club General Meeting
7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Litzsinger School, 10094 Litzsinger Road at Lindbergh Blvd., Ladue, MO 63124 (map)
A panel will discuss the National Park Service's new General Management Plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.  Panelists include Kally Coleman (Friends of Ozark Riverways), Caroline Pufalt (Missouri Chapter Conservation Chair), and Paul Stupperich (EMG ExCom).

How the Use of Coal Affects Missouri and the Planet
WHAT: A free talk on Missouri's use of coal
WHEN: Thursday, July 18, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Longview Farm Park, 13525 Clayton Road, Town & Country, MO 63141 (map)
WHO: Sara Edgar, Sierra Club Organizing Representative

Coal-fired electricity production is one of the largest pollution sources on the planet, costing our region millions in health-care costs and environmental damage. Ameren Missouri relies on coal for upwards of 85% of their electricity production, yet all across the country utilities are moving beyond coal. Nationally, coal-based power generation is down to less than 37% while clean energy use is on the rise. Sara Edgar will speak about the impact of our region's coal reliance and the need to move Ameren and our region beyond coal, for our air, water, health, economy, and climate.

Sara works for the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign. She holds a Masters in Social Work from Washington University with a focus on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Development and a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Syracuse University. A St. Louis native, Sara served in the US Peace Corps in Bolivia and has a background in international research and community development.

This Green Speaker event is sponsored by the City of Town & Country's Green Team Commission. 

Support Wind Energy

Clean Line Energy
is planning to build a transmission line through Missouri to deliver low-cost, renewable energy from western Kansas wind farms to Missouri and states farther east.  There will be a series of Public Open Houses to share information about possible routes.  Meetings in the EMG area include:

Hannibal – Weds. July 31, 7 – 9am, Shirley R. Bomar Community Center, 253 Munger Lane, Hannibal, MO 63401 (map)
Bowling Green – Thursday Aug. 1, 7-9 a.m., Bowling Green High School Auditorium, 700 W. Adams St, Bowling Green, MO 63334 (map)

The Missouri Sierra Club supports expanded development of wind energy to replace dirty coal plants.  At the same time, it is important that transmission lines are appropriately routed, and that is where your input at this Open House is so important!

For more information on this proposed transmission line, click Grain Belt Express Clean Line.


Clean Stream canoes

Operation Clean Stream
Join us as we scout for trash treasures from our canoes on the Meramec River on Saturday,  August 24.  A limited number of free rental canoes will be available.  Optional picnic following the clean up.  Toni Armstrong, (314) 434-2072, or Ann Eggebrecht, (314) 577-0805.

Also, check our outings calendar for canoe floats on July 20 and July 27.

A Special Fall Treat: Trail Work in the Current River Watershed!

OT Blair Creek200.jpg
Ozark Trail in Pioneer Forest, Blair
Creek Section of OT, Spring 2012

Environmentalists across Missouri are waiting for the Draft General Management Plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The release of the Draft GMP will give us a chance to comment on how our national park is managed for fishing, swimming and boating and protecting its clear, spring-fed waters.

River users have serious complaints about damage in the Riverways due to the increase of illegal roads and overuse of trails by commercial horse rides.  The problems caused by careless use and overuse are especially serious for wildlife because of increase in sediment and other pollutants in the river. Such abuses lower the quality of our experience when we visit the park anticipating wild rivers and hills with pristine springs and creeks. 

With our outings program, Eastern Missouri Group volunteers support low-impact recreation such as canoeing and hiking in the Current River watershed.  This fall we will again work on the Ozark Trail in the Blair Creek Section.  You can help us by volunteering for Sierra Club trail work during October 19-27.

Click here to enjoy our pictures from last year's Ozark Trail work week.


Tar Sands Coming Down the Pipe to Missouri
by Henry Robertson
While the Keystone XL gets all the headlines, there's another tar sands pipeline that so far has managed to slither under the radar. It's called the Flanagan South, and it's one segment of a system being built by the Canadian pipeline company Enbridge from the Alberta tar sands to the Texas Gulf coast. It would run 600 miles from Flanagan, Illinois to Cushing, Oklahoma, burrowing under 2,000 streams along the route. It would enter Missouri from Quincy, IL and exit into Kansas from Bates County south of Kansas City. Beyond that, the pipeline would cross eight Missouri streams that are listed as impaired waters under the Clean Water Act.  Stopping the Flanagan South should be every bit as much a climate crusade as the Keystone.

Spills from tar sands pipelines can be devastating. A spill into Michigan's Kalamazoo River from an Enbridge pipeline in 2010 still hasn't been completely cleaned up after three years and $1 billion. Tar sands pipelines don't carry oil, they carry "dilbit," or diluted bitumen. Bitumen is the goopy, tar-like substance that gives the tar sands their name. It won't flow unless it's diluted with liquid natural gas products and pumped under high pressure and temperature. It's more corrosive, abrasive and acidic than crude oil. Unlike oil, it can't be corralled at the surface of a stream after a spill; it sinks to the bottom, complicating cleanup.

The Flanagan South would feed into the Seaway Pipeline to the Gulf, which will have a capacity of 850,000 barrels per day, bigger than the Keystone XL. Why is it so little known? Because the Army Corps of Engineers may have the power to let it go through without giving the public so much as a peek at the project.

The Sierra Club and Great Rivers Environmental Law Center have sent letters to the Corps under the Freedom of Information Act. They've been met with a stone wall. Unfortunately, this is a common agency tactic—ignore the law and force citizens to go to court, spending time and money for information that ought to be in the public domain. The Corps thinks it knows better than we do. It's a matter of urgency because Enbridge intends to start construction in August, and the Corps has announced it expects to make a decision that same month.

We believe that approving the Flanagan South without a public process would be a misuse of Nationwide Permit 12, a kind of rubber-stamp permit under the Clean Water Act that's designed for small projects with minimal environmental impact. Using this for such a monstrosity, with 2,000 stream crossings instead of just one, is a travesty.

To see how you can help, contact our Missouri Chapter organizer Harry Alper, 314-644-1011.


Miss and Mister Toxic Water "Swimsuit" Competition 
70% of all toxic water contamination comes from coal plants -- and Ameren is one of the nation's worst offenders. The utility dumps over 50 million gallons of untreated toxic water into our rivers every day! At that rate, we will need hazmat suits just to go swimming!  Join us on Tuesday to demand action and call upon the EPA for stronger protections.

July 23 at 10:00 a.m. -  Don't miss the fun --  the event will be over by 10:30 am.  St. Louis Riverfront at Poplar Street and S. Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd. (map)   Parking is available along the flood wall.   RSVP here or show up at 10 a.m.  Bring friends.

Selling lemonade has been a great way to
raise money for the environmenal protection
efforts of the Eastern Missouri Group.
We will be squeezing lots of lemons at the
Festival of the Little Hills
on August 16, 17 and 18. 
Plan to help out for a few hours --
contact Jim Young at 314-644-0302.
save festival little hills


Green Time TV: Standing Up to Environmental Challenges
Green Time appears in four Missouri areas.  See the webpage at  In the St. Louis area it airs at noon on Saturdays and 5:30 pm Wednesdays on Channel 24-1 and at 8 pm on Mondays on Channel 24-2 on these dates:

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August 3, 5, 7: "Health of the Honeybee."  Jane Sueme discusses the importance of pollinators, bee losses in the US and metro St. Louis, and guidelines for people wanting to keep honeybees. 

August 10, 12, 14: "Health Begins in the Soil at EarthDance." Molly Rockamann discusses EarthDance's continuity with the Mueller Farm, its apprenticeship program, how people can visit the farm and where they can get its produce.  . 

August 17, 19, 21: "Pig CAFOs: Health and the Environment."  Darvin Bentlage of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MRCC) discusses effects of the concentration of meat packers on the food supply of the country, including salmonella outbreaks.

August 24, 26, 28: "Pig CAFOs in Missouri." Darvin Bentlage of MRCC looks at ways that CAFO owners get around restrictions and how
anti-trust laws could be applied to meat packers. 

August 31, September 2, 4: "Missouri Energy: Health, Environment, Economy, Politics." Mollie Freebairn discusses releases to Missouri's environment including greenhouse gases, nitrogen and sulfur oxides, acid rain, particulates, and organic and heavy metal compounds. 

August Green Times include the movies "Tom Theobold on Bee Loss," "Health Begins in the Soil," and "Pig Business."  To volunteer to help produce Green Time call 314-727-8554 or email Don Fitz.


Eastern Missouri Group Outings Calendar

Sierra Club members and non-members are welcome to join Club members on our outings.

Visit the Eastern Missouri Group website for more information about outings, activities, and issues.

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Sierra Club - Eastern Missouri Group
7164 Manchester Ave.
Maplewood, MO 63143 314-644-0890
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