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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A national environmental group is suing a St. Louis-based utility, claiming thousands of violations of federal clean air laws.

The Sierra Club filed a federal lawsuit against the Ameren Corporation Wednesday in St. Louis. The complaint seeks to compel Ameren to reduce pollution at three Missouri power plants and asks the court to levy financial penalties for past violations.

The lawsuit says Ameren's own testing shows nearly 10,000 violations since 2009 at the utility's Meramec power plant in St. Louis County, the Rush Island plant in Jefferson County, and the Labadie plant in Franklin County.

Ameren's vice president of environmental services, Mike Menne, says the suit has no merit. He says a federal court in Texas recently rejected a similar case filed by the Sierra Club.

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