Judge signs Badger consent decree

October 10, 2013
Escorting the SS Badger

Escorting the SS Badger

LUDINGTON — A federal judge has signed the consent decree that will allow the S.S. Badger to operate while its parent company makes the necessary modifications to transport coal ash to a facility on land. Lake Michigan Carferry, on its S.S. Badger Facebook site announced tonight that Federal District Federal District Court Judge Janet T. Neff has signed the decree.

“LMC is looking foreword to providing fun and reliable cross-lake transportation service aboard the SS Badger for many years to come,” the page stated.

MCP reported on Sept. 13 that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion to enter the consent decree, which allows LMC to discharge coal ash until the end of the 2014 season. The agreement will result in the elimination of the Badger’s ash discharge prior to the start of the 2015 sailing season.

“The consent decree process has been extensive and has taken much longer than we had hoped,” said Bob Manglitz President & CEO of LMC. ”This action is a huge milestone on the long road we have been traveling to keep the Badger sailing. This ensures that the Badger will be sailing long into the future.”

The Consent Decree requires the reduction of the Badger’s ash discharge in 2013 and during the five-month operating season of 2014. LMC had already started taking action to reduce and ultimately eliminate the ash discharge prior to the start of the Consent Decree process by using coal that produces less ash.

LMC has also been proactive working toward eliminating the ash discharge during the Consent Decree review process by starting the engineering and design work necessary for the installation of a sophisticated ash retention system – a technology never before implemented on a steamship.

“On behalf of the 200 Lake Michigan Carferry employees, we want the people of Ludington and Manitowoc to know that our commitment to providing carferry service between the port cities has never wavered and we thank them for their strong support. In 1992, Charles Conrad had a dream to extend the carferry heritage for another 100 years. Well, we still have 80 years to go to fulfill his dream.”

The S.S. Badger is responsible for bringing millions of dollars into the economies of Ludington and Manitowoc and the surrounding areas of both communities.

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