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MEC: Proposed SS Badger agreement not strong enough to ensure halt to coal ash dumping

Mar 22, 2013
A proposed Environmental Protection Agency consent decree that would allow the coal-burning SS Badger ferry to continue dumping waste ash into Lake Michigan for two years is not strong enough to ensure protection of the lakes and compliance by the Badger’s owner, the Michigan Environmental Council said today.

The proposed agreement was filed today. The proposal was crafted after the Badger’s owners failed to meet a 2013 deadline for stopping the dumping, either by converting to a different fuel source or containing the ash for proper disposal after docking.

“We acknowledge the historical and economic significance of the Badger,” said James Clift of the Michigan Environmental Council. “However they were given an exemption in 2008, and failed to meet their deadline for stopping the toxic ash dumping. There is little in the proposed agreement that would ensure they meet this new deadline.”

Specifically, MEC would like to see:

• A significant non-refundable deposit required of the company to ensure it is committed to the necessary retrofits. If they cannot demonstrate serious commitment, they should no longer be gifted with an exemption from the pollution laws that everyone else adheres to.

• Explanation or rationale for why the company will be given two years – rather than one – to make the changes.

The proposed agreement will be subject to a 30-day comment period that will be announced soon.
Hugh McDiarmid: 248-660-4300
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