A Lansing-area state lawmaker is urging federal environmental officials to get tough with the coal-fired S.S. Badger.
The company that owns the popular Lake Michigan car ferry out of Ludington is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for more time to convert its engine. Meanwhile it continues to dump coal ash into Lake Michigan.
State Senator Rick Jones, R- Grand Ledge, says a 2008 exemption from E.P.A. rules has given the company enough time to convert from coal to natural gas.
"They have not done it,” Jones says. “I'm asking the EPA to stop it now. We cannot allow Lake Michigan to be polluted."
Calls and emails to Lake Michigan Carferry for comment were not returned in time for this story. On its website, the company says it has been working to convert The Badger from coal and that testing has shown the ashes do not harm the environment.
Jones’ Senate district includes Lake Michigan shoreline further south, from Holland to Saugatuck.