LUDINGTON, Mich. — Built in 1953, The Badger Ferry, which runs from Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconson and back is the last coal powered steamer allowed to dump over 500 tons of toxic pollution, including arsenic, lead, mercury and other heavy metals into the water. The E.P.A. has been trying to put a stop to this for some time.
Their last application in 2007 promised the Badger owners would have 5 five years to fix the ship’s pollution problems. They also lobbied the Obama administration, trying to protect the ship as a National Historic Landmark, allowing it to pollute the lake forever.
With the sailing season almost ready to begin, an agreement between the Department Of Justice, EPA and the owners of the Badger car ferry, will give the ship a temporary reprieve from federal clean water regulations. The ship’s owner agrees to stop discharging coal ash into the lake by the end of the 2014 sailing season. Originally built to carry railroad cars, the ship is used today as a shortcut across Lake Michigan to and from ports in Ludington and Manitowok.
“we appreciate the support we have received from our elected representatives in Michigan and Wisconsin and the encouragement of the thousands of people who have supported our efforts to keep the Badger sailing”, said Bob Manglitz, president and C.E.O. of the Lake Michigan Car ferry Service.