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S.S. Badger/Lake Michigan Carferry, Inc.

In May of 2015, EPA confirmed that Lake Michigan Carferry Service, Inc. (LMC) took the necessary steps to permanently stop discharging coal ash into Lake Michigan. LMC’s elimination of coal ash discharge was the result of an enforcement action taken by EPA to ensure compliance with the water quality standard for mercury. 

Background

The S.S. Badger, owned and operated by LMC, was authorized to discharge under EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Vessel General Permit issued in December 2008. This permit covered discharges from many vessels into waters of the United States and contained specific provisions for discharges from large ferries. One of these provisions authorized the discharge of coal-ash slurry from coal-fired propulsion systems until Dec. 19, 2012.

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 will continue to monitor LMC’s compliance with the consent decree through the 2015 sailing season.

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