Today, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-4) released this statement in response to the announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allowing Lake Michigan Carferry Service, Inc. (LMC) of Ludington, Michigan -- operators of the SS Badger - to continue the discharge of coal ash into Lake Michigan through the end of the 2014 sailing season.
"I am deeply disappointed that the EPA has once again given the SS Badger an extension to continue dumping harmful coal ash debris in our Great Lakes through the 2014 operating season. The SS Badger previously promised some five years ago that it would end the dumping of coal ash into our Great Lakes, yet here we are watching "Groundhog Day' play out again allowing them to continue to carry out this harmful practice on our environment.
"As their previous permit was expiring this past December, the SS Badger was no closer to stopping the harmful pollution. LMC did however find time to fund legislative efforts to attempt to enshrine its dumping exemption into law for perpetuity. Fortunately, Congress wisely rejected these efforts.
"The Great Lakes are an irreplaceable, national environmental and economic treasure that must be protected. That is why I am troubled by the EPA's decision to continue to give special dispensation to some at the expense of the protection of Lake Michigan and our entire Great Lake ecosystem.
"I fervently hope LMC lives up to its promise to end the dumping and I strongly urge the EPA to enforce the tenets set forth in the Clean Water Act and other key federal environmental laws so that we can preserve our natural resources for posterity."