The SS Badger will be allowed to operate for the next two years ferrying cars and vehicles between Manitowoc and Ludington, Mich., according to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Friday.
This announcement came after Lake Michigan Carferry (LMC), the owner of the SS Badger, signed a consent decree agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency. According to a press release from LMC, the agreement requires the SS Badger to end ash discharge within two years.
The SS Badger is the last remaining coal-fired ship on the Great Lakes and flushes about four tons of coal ash into the lake daily during the shipping season. According to the Journal Sentinel article, the EPA issued a four-year permit for the ferry to dump coal ash beginning in 2008 which has now expired. LMC says the new agreement includes the installation of a “sophisticated ash retention system”.
The two-year consent decree is a compromise, as LMC wanted to continue its current practices through 2016. It also saves more than 200 jobs for the time being.