S.S. Badger Explores Natural Fuel Option

The Lake Michigan Carferry Service (LMC) is researching many options for a successful future for the company including a new fuel source, natural gas. LMC was contacted by DTE Energy suggesting the possibility of converting the coal-fired steam engines to natural gas, which would make the S.S. Badger the greenest commercial vessel operating on the Great Lakes.

There are many reasons why LMC is pursuing natural gas as a fuel source. It would allow the 58-year-old S.S. Badger to maintain her historical significance by preserving her nationally recognized steam engines. It is also a safe fuel source that is commonly used in homes and businesses, as well as being economically viable and environmentally sound.

Finding a safe, feasible and environmentally-friendly option with natural gas is important to our company. We employ nearly 250 people and affect an additional 450 jobs, said Lynda Matson, Vice President of Customer Service and Marketing. We also have an economic impact of nearly $35 million dollars annually on our port cities, Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was ordered to regulate vessel discharges under the Clean Water Act. Nearly 70,000 vessels were suddenly required to obtain a Vessel General Permit (VGP) for any type of discharge. The Badger was included under the VGP to discharge ash from her coal-fired boilers until December 19, 2012. The permit doesnt authorize ash di ...

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