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Ameren to Pay Fines

It forks over $15 million in a dam breach.

Ameren (AEE) - Get Ameren Corporation Report said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a $15 million settlement in a December 2005 dam breach.

The company said the agreement between AmerenUE and the FERC office of enforcement resolves all potential federal liability associated with the failure of AmerenUE's Taum Sauk hydroelectric plant. A breach in the upper reservoir of the Taum Sauk plant on Dec 14, 2005 caused significant damage to a state park and injured a family of five, the company said.

AmerenUE agreed to pay a civil penalty of $10 million to the United States Treasury and to fund another $5 million in project enhancements at or near the Taum Sauk facility.

The agreement also requires that AmerenUE implement immediately and comply with a dam safety program.

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"We have fully cooperated with federal and state agencies in their investigation of this incident and have chosen to enter into this consent agreement rather than engaging in prolonged litigation because, from day one, we have accepted full responsibility for the effects of the breach," the St. Louis-based company said. "We continue to focus on ensuring that something like this never happens again."

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