Home / Environment / Durbin opposes ferry’s coal ash dumping in lake

Durbin opposes ferry’s coal ash dumping in lake

AP Environmental Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – The U.S. Senate’s second-ranking Democrat says he opposes allowing a Ludington-based ferryboat to continue dumping coal ash into Lake Michigan.

Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois announced his position Thursday in a letter to Robert Manglitz, president of Lake Michigan Carferry. It operates the SS Badger.

The Badger is the nation’s last working coal-fired steamship. It takes passengers and their vehicles between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wis., from May to October.

Operators have a December deadline to stop dumping waste ash into the lake but are seeking a federal permit for more time while they research a conversion to natural gas.

Durbin calls the plan “far-fetched” and says it could cost $50 million to build fueling and storage infrastructure for the gas.

Company officials have no immediate comment on Durbin’s opposition.

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