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DNR buys trucks with Taum Sauk settlement

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently bought a fleet of six environmental emergency response trucks as part of the settlement from the 2005 Taum Sauk Reservoir breach.

DNR Director Doyle Childers accepted the more than $1 million worth of vehicles from Ameren at a brief ceremony at the department’s headquarters in Jefferson City.

Ameren’s purchase of the trucks, which were manufactured by Precision Fire Apparatus, Camdenton, was part of the settlement arising from the Dec. 14, 2005, breach of Taum Sauk Reservoir. Five of the six trucks will be distributed to the department’s regional offices throughout Missouri, with the sixth housed with the department’s Environmental Services Program in Jefferson City.

The Taum Sauk Reservoir failure flooded Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park with more than 1.3 billion gallons of water, which caused extensive damage to the park and injured the park superintendent and his family. At the time, Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park was one of the state park system’s most popular state parks. With approximately 8,550 acres, the park drew nearly 250,000 visitors yearly.

Portions of the park have been open during the summers of 2006 through 2008. Current plans call for the park to be completely reopened in 2009.

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