A relic of the times, the S.S. Badger steams from Ludington, MI, to Manitowoc, WI, Friday, June 30, 2000. / Jeffrey Sauger/ Detroit Free Press
LUDINGTON, Mich. (Ludington Daily News)--Federal District Court Judge Janet T. Neff signed the consent decree Thursday needed to allow the SS Badger to continue to operate as it makes modifications to begin storing coal ash currently discharged into Lake Michigan by the start of its 2015 sailing season.
The consent decree was filed early this year with the U.S. Department of Justice as an agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Lake Michigan Carferry over coal ash discharged into Lake Michigan as part of the coal-fired ship's operations.
"After carefully reviewing the proposed Consent Decree, as amended, and all relevant matters of record, the Court finds that the proposed Consent Decree, as amended, is fair, reasonable, consistent with the purposes of the Clean Water Act ... and in the public interest. Accordingly, the Court grants the motion (Dkt 12) and approves and adopts the parties' proposed Consent Decree (Dkt 2-1), as amended," states the opinion and order signed by Neff accepting the consent decree.
"LMC is pleased with this final ruling and we're pleased that we will be able to provide fun, reliable cross-lake transportation aboard the Historic Badger more many years to come," Terri Brown, director of marketing and media relations, said this morning.
When the EPA began permitting what ships could discharge in 2008, it did not allow for coal ash. Thus began the legal battle to keep the carferry operating.
For more on this story, visit the website for the Ludington Daily News.