LMC official questions columnist’s comments

August 13, 2013

Letter to the Editor.

Editor’s Note: On Aug. 5, 2013, Ludington Daily News columnist George Dila wrote a column about asking about what Ludington would be like without the S.S. Badger. Dila is a paid columnist for the newspaper. Terri Brown, Lake Michigan Carferry director of marketing and media relations, asked us to post the following rebuttal: 


I am writing in response to George Dila’s column from Monday, August 5, 2013. To Mr. Dila’s

question – “Is the Badger forever,” my reply is YES!


A few of Mr. Dila’s statements raised doubt as to the future operations of the SS Badger. I

would like to address a few of your misleading comments to bring assurance to our community

members that the Badger will be transporting passengers and commercial vehicles for many

years to come.


First and foremost, I would like to reiterate that Lake Michigan Carferry (LMC) has always

operated in full compliance with the EPA. Your statement, “the Badger dumps tons of coal

ash into Lake Michigan on every trip – way more than is allowed by regulation,” is untrue and

reckless and paints an unfair image of the Badger.


Lake Michigan Carferry has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars overhauling the engines

on the Badger this past winter. A financial investment such as this is confirmation of a strong

commitment for the future of LMC and the SS Badger.


At this time, LMC is awaiting word from the Department of Justice pertaining to the decision

as to whether to accept the Consent Decree as presented. It has taken longer than we had

hoped. In the interim, LMC is already moving forward to reduce and ultimately eliminate the

ash discharge in 2014 by inventing a sophisticated ash retention system – a technology never

before used in the maritime industry – to be in service by the start of the 2015 sailing season.

Having firsthand knowledge of the countless hours that have been dedicated to this project,

the hundreds of thousands of dollars invested and the unbelievable resolve and commitment

from the owners and staff of Lake Michigan Carferry – it is very discouraging to read that you’re

encouraging our community members and business leaders to give thought to Ludington

without the Badger – lacking any acknowledgment of the effort LMC has made to preserve the

200 plus jobs and community icon for Ludington.


We feel extremely fortunate that we will be able to continue our role in the economic wellbeing

of such a strong community where dedication, appreciation and concern are so prevalent.

Lake Michigan Carferry extends our most sincere gratitude to the thousands of community

members who have demonstrated concern, faith and support throughout this process and for

the patience of our valued staff.


Terri Brown

Director of Marketing and Media Relations – Lake Michigan Carferry


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