S.S. Badger must stop discharging coal ash into Lake Michigan

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S.S. Badger

CHICAGO (WITI) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a decree on Friday, March 22nd that requires Lake Michigan Carferry Service, Inc. (LMC) of Ludington, Michigan, to eliminate the discharge of coal ash into Lake Michigan by the end of the 2014 sailing season.

The S.S. Badger was authorized to discharge coal ash under the 2008 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Vessel General Permit. A permit provision authorized that discharge until December 2012.  The S.S. Badger is the last coal-fired ship operating on the Great Lakes.

In 2013 and 2014, the ferry will reduce its discharge of coal ash and LMC will pay a $25,000 civil penalty for violating mercury water quality standards in 2012, according to the proposed consent decree.

Last year, LMC applied for an individual NPDES permit to allow the S.S. Badger to continue discharging coal ash into Lake Michigan.