EPA revises S.S. badger consent decree

Badger source Wikimedia CommonsSEPTEMBER 16, 2013 — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the filing of a motion to enter a revised consent decree that requires Lake Michigan Carferry Service, Inc. (LMC) of Ludington, Michigan to cease the discharge of coal ash from the car ferry S.S. Badger at the end of the 2014 sailing season. The revised consent decree was strengthened in response to almost 8,000 public comments on a proposed consent decree that was lodged earlier this year (see earlier story). Copies of the public comments and EPA's response to those comments were also filed with the court today.

"The revised consent decree has been strengthened based on public comments on the proposed consent decree that was lodged in March," said EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman. "These revisions increase certainty that the S.S. Badger will stop discharging coal ash to Lake Michigan at the end of the 2014 sailing season."

The proposed consent decree has been revised to double stipulated penalties for non-compliance with the deadline for ceasing coal ash discharges, to limit the mercury and coal ash content of coal used by the S.S. Badger during the 2014 sailing season, and to require LMC to report information on the quantity of coal ash discharged by the S.S. Badger. The proposed consent decree also requires LMC to pay a $25,000 civil penalty for violating mercury water quality standards in 2012.

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

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