EPA Approval Press Release May 2015

Press Officer
Phillippa Cannon
312-353-6218 or 800-621-8431, ext. 3-6218

U.S. EPA Region 5
77 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604

May 14, 2015 - Following an inspection of the S.S. Badger with the U.S. Coast Guard earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency confirmed that Lake Michigan Carferry Service, Inc. (LMC) of Ludington, Michigan, has taken all the steps necessary to permanently stop the discharge of coal ash into Lake Michigan. LMC’s elimination of coal ash discharge was the result of a Clean Water Act enforcement action taken by EPA in September 2013 to ensure compliance with the water quality standard for mercury.

EPA’s inspector confirmed that the S.S. Badger’s mechanism to discharge coal ash has been removed and replaced with a system to retain coal ash. The new system will transport ash from the ship’s four boilers to four retention bins on the car deck.

EPA required LMC to eliminate the discharge of coal ash into Lake Michigan by the end of the 2014 sailing season. EPA also required LMC to reduce its coal ash discharge in 2013 and 2014 and to pay a $25,000 civil penalty for a 2012 violation of the mercury water quality standard.

EPA will continue to monitor LMC’s compliance with the consent decree through the 2015 sailing season. The consent decree requires LMC to report any non-compliance to EPA.

The S.S. Badger is the last coal-fired ship operating on the Great Lakes.